TURA, Aug 31 - Public meetings cum rallies were held all over Garo Hills today demanding exclusion of non-tribals from voting in the upcoming GHADC elections. Rallies and meetings were held at Tura, Williamnagar, Resubelpara and Baghmara.
Rain was a dampener for most of the rallies as the heavens opened up since morning and continued through the day. The meeting in Chandmari here was attended by about 500 people who braved the rains.
Several NGOs including the GSU interim body, AYWO, AAYF, ASWA and GHSMC took part in the meeting and rally.
Speaking at the public meeting in Tura, president of Garo Students Union (interim body) Zikku Balgra said, �At any cost we will not allow non-tribal candidates to contest the poll or participate in the voting. The Council is meant for the indigenous people.�
The speakers blamed the Congress-led Government for failing to enact a law, which would have prohibited non-tribals to vote or contest.
Three constituencies, Phulbari, Rajabala and Mahendraganj, out of 29 are open for non-tribals to contest elections to the Council. As per the provision laid down for the Council, any non-tribal resident, who has continuously lived for 12 years in Garo Hills can participate in the voting.
�We are not against non-tribals though we would like to request them not to participate in the upcoming elections to the GHADC�, said Zikku.