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Meghalaya to constitute all-party panel

By Raju Das
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SHILLONG May 8 � Meghalaya would constitute an all-party committee and tweak some of the Election Commission�s (EC) voter enrolment guidelines without infringing the Constitutional body�s mandate and keeping in mind interest of the local residents.

Chief Minster Mukul Sangma after a three-hour-long meeting with representatives of political parties, said that the all-party committee would formulate �friendly and effective� voter enrolment guidelines for the State. The amended version would then be sent to the EC for approval.

�Legally we cannot infringe upon the EC�s mandate, but we would formulate our guidelines, fine tuning the existing ones keeping in mind the local interest. There is scope for it,� Sangma said.

There is likelihood that the Dorbar Shnongs or traditional bodies would have more say in the registration of voters under the new formulation. However, Sangma said he would not be presumptive and left it to the wisdom of the committee members to decide on the matter as it deems fit.

The committee would have representatives from each registered political parties and the Government notification in this regard would be out tomorrow. The committee would also look into the issue of the facilitation centres and also �fine tune� the mandates of these centres as per local conditions.

The Chief Minister has been under pressure from NGOs who are demanding that the voters� facilitation centres are removed at the district and block levels to ensure that people with doubtful antecedents doesn�t get enrolled. The centres have been set up through a notification of the EC.

The NGOs have also indicated that antecedents of voters are checked at the grassroots with the traditional heads of institutions as one of the authorities to do so. �We want to dispel apprehensions that no person with dubious antecedent is enrolled in the voters list through these friendly and effective amendments,� he added.

On the NGOs, who have called night-road blockade and picketed in offices, Sangma appealed that they mustn�t restore to agitations and disturb public order.

�We would like to appeal to the NGOs not to restore to agitations which results in a sense of insecurity amongst the people,� the Chief Minister said.

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Meghalaya to constitute all-party panel

SHILLONG May 8 � Meghalaya would constitute an all-party committee and tweak some of the Election Commission�s (EC) voter enrolment guidelines without infringing the Constitutional body�s mandate and keeping in mind interest of the local residents.

Chief Minster Mukul Sangma after a three-hour-long meeting with representatives of political parties, said that the all-party committee would formulate �friendly and effective� voter enrolment guidelines for the State. The amended version would then be sent to the EC for approval.

�Legally we cannot infringe upon the EC�s mandate, but we would formulate our guidelines, fine tuning the existing ones keeping in mind the local interest. There is scope for it,� Sangma said.

There is likelihood that the Dorbar Shnongs or traditional bodies would have more say in the registration of voters under the new formulation. However, Sangma said he would not be presumptive and left it to the wisdom of the committee members to decide on the matter as it deems fit.

The committee would have representatives from each registered political parties and the Government notification in this regard would be out tomorrow. The committee would also look into the issue of the facilitation centres and also �fine tune� the mandates of these centres as per local conditions.

The Chief Minister has been under pressure from NGOs who are demanding that the voters� facilitation centres are removed at the district and block levels to ensure that people with doubtful antecedents doesn�t get enrolled. The centres have been set up through a notification of the EC.

The NGOs have also indicated that antecedents of voters are checked at the grassroots with the traditional heads of institutions as one of the authorities to do so. �We want to dispel apprehensions that no person with dubious antecedent is enrolled in the voters list through these friendly and effective amendments,� he added.

On the NGOs, who have called night-road blockade and picketed in offices, Sangma appealed that they mustn�t restore to agitations and disturb public order.

�We would like to appeal to the NGOs not to restore to agitations which results in a sense of insecurity amongst the people,� the Chief Minister said.

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