UDP to push for anti-defection law if in power in district councils

SHILLONG, Feb 11: The United Democratic Party (UDP) has assured that it will work towards having an Anti-Defection Law in the Autonomous District Council (ADCs) in the state if it comes to power in the district councils.

It may be mentioned that the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) will vote on February 27 to elect Members of District Council (MDC).

The party which released its manifesto on Monday said that an anti-defection law was needed in the ADCs, since there is constant change in the Executive Committees (EC) with the MDCs always hungry for power.

“Our party will work with the state government to ensure that such an act exists in the district councils,” the UDP stated in its manifesto.

Among other things, the party also stated in its manifesto that mining of minerals like, uranium, coal, limestone and sand will be done as per regulated laws of the government.

“On the issue of uranium our EC will not allow it’s mining without understanding because this is a mineral which is strange since it affects the health of the people,” the regional party sated.

“All these can be done only if a party which is hardworking and transparent through a system which is straight forward,” the UDP added.

The UDP also assured that if the Parliament approves the Constitutional amendment to increase powers of ADCs like – increase in the number of seats, reservation of one-third of seats for women and devolution of financial resources to ADCs it will accept them and make it public so that there will be transparency in the way works are being done.

Among other things, the manifesto of the UDP also assures that if the party forms the EC it will works towards safeguarding the environment.

“The district councils need tougher laws so that it can work towards maintaining our environment,” the UDP stated.

The regional party also stated in its manifesto that the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills (Land Revenue) Regulation, 1953 has become an old law and needs to be amended.

Also the UDP stated that the Khasi Social Custom of Lineage Act, 1997 of the district council needs to be discussed thoroughly by all stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the UDP has also said that it was concerned with the issue of many non-tribals allowed to trade in traditional markets, especially Iewduh.

“There is a need to plug loopholes that exist in the law and the weaknesses in implementing it,” the UDP stated.

Paragraph 10 of the Sixth Schedule speaks on the Power of District Council to make regulations for the control of money-lending and trading by non-tribals.

Paragraph 10 clause (l) states, “The District Council of an autonomous district may make regulations for the regulation and control of money-lending or trading within the district by persons other than scheduled tribes resident in the district.”

Moreover, the UDP also said that if the UDP forms the EC in the district councils it will set up village courts to hear petty cases for the benefit of poor people.

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