Meghalaya | Don’t politicize the ‘controversial’ amendment of language proficiency: CM tells Opposition

Meghalaya | Don’t politicize the ‘controversial’ amendment of language proficiency: CM tells Opposition

By Our Reporter, TNT News | Shillong, Sep 26:

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has slammed the opposition for trying to 'politicize' the issue of the 'controversial' amendment of the language proficiency clause by the Union Government.

"It is not right to politicize this issue and trying to blame each other. The State Government had taken up the matter with the Government of India with Ministry of Finance and Department of Financial Services. The Chief Secretary on April 8 this year in his letter had urged upon the Centre that only candidates who are already proficiency with the language should be considered for the appointment in the Meghalaya Rural Bank," Chief Minister said while replying to the resolution brought by Congress legislator from Ampati, Miani D Shira during the on-going autumn session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly here today.

While assuring the House of the Government's commitment on the issue, Conrad said that the rules is applicable throughout India and it is not possible for the Meghalaya Government to change this rule.

According to the Chief Minister, the Centre has not responded to letter written by the Chief Secretary.

Stating that it is not right to say that Centre is snatching away the rights of the tribals, he said that the reservation for the scheduled tribe remains at 44 percent.

While lambasting the previous Congress led Government for "not doing anything on this issue", he said that this act was amended in 29 March 2017 adding that if the opposition was so concerned from that time, then a resolution should have been passed when they were in the Government.

"The issue would have been resolved. Why waited for so long," he said.

Earlier while moving the resolution, Miani said that this amendment does not have any clarity and it provides space for manipulation to actually enable people who are not proficient in the local language.

She said that the local educated youth who are proficient in the local language no longer have an upper hand in view of this amendment.

According to Miani, to be proficient in local language one has to read the language up to standard-VIII or above, in boards of education or schools recognized by the government.

She also questioned how can a person from outside the State be proficient in the local language within a period of six months.

The Congress legislator said that the appointment rules amended by the Ministry of Finance is flawed whereby one of the essential qualifications, that proficiency in local language was over-diluted, after its existence for over 40 years, since the Regional Rural Bank Act, 1976, was passed by Parliament.

Pointing out that in the past the recruitment happens in the headquarters in Shillong, she said that surprisingly for the first time the recruitment was held in Guwahati.

Out of 27 successful candidates who were selected officer Grade I, she said that only two were locals.

Miani said that there were only ten locals out of the 20 successful candidates for the post of office assistants.

"I would like to urge upon the Government of India through a resolution which can be adopted in this August House to restore back the original rules for appointment of officers and employees," the Congress legislator from Songsak said.

While supporting the resolution, Opposition Leader,Dr Mukul Sangma said that the amendment is one way of depriving the youth and job seekers.

"It is not right upon the Government of India to tamper upon the rules just to quietly steal away and rob our youth," he said.

He urge upon this House to adopt this resolution and take up the issue collective with the Government of India and to restore it to its original form.

"If the Government cannot adopt this resolution. The Government then can come up with a resolution tomorrow on this issue. The opposition will fully support the Government resolution," he said.

Others who took part in the discussion on the resolution include Government Chief Whip, Process T Sawkmie and Congress legislator from Umroi, George B Lyngdoh. The Congress legislator from Ampati finally withdrew the resolution after reply of the Chief Minister.

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