SHILLONG, Oct 26 - Congress High Command today asked the Congress-led Meghalaya Government to impress upon Governor V Shanmuganathan to give his assent to the Village Administration Bills (VABs) passed by the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) of Khasi and Jaintia Hills.
All India Congress Committee general secretary, in-charge Meghalaya, V Narayanasamy said the Congress High Command would request Chief Minister Mukul Sangma to take up the issue of VAB with the Governor so that he gives his assent at the earliest.
He said the decision was taken by the High Command so that the traditional headmen and institutions could be empowered as envisioned by the ADCs of Khasi and Jaintia Hills.
Highlighting the importance of the issue, he said a delegation of headmen and traditional heads met him and sought his intervention on the matter. Shanmuganathan has not given his assent to the Bills passed by the ADCs, stating that it was being studied at appropriate levels.
The ADCs passed the Bill after the Meghalaya High Court ordered that the traditional heads and headmen cannot issue certificates of residence unless they are empowered by law. As of now there are no legislations that empower the traditional heads and chiefs and therefore both the ADCs and the State Government are in the process of empowering them.
Narayanasamy, meanwhile, said that the traditional heads and chiefs, who enjoy certain powers traditionally, cannot be curtailed by the Court. �The issue of empowering the traditional heads and chiefs can be resolved through negotiation, dialogue and discussion amongst the stakeholders,� he added.
On the other hand, the village chiefs and headmen under the banner of Synjuk Ki Nongsynshar Shnong Ka Bri U Hynniewtrep has sought dismissal of the Congress-led Government for delaying the approval of the VABs. The organisation has called a procession on October 30 to protest against the State Government.