The Meghalaya Cabinet made a significant decision to extend the terms of two key Autonomous District Councils in the state.
The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) were granted an additional six months beyond their current term, which was set to expire on March 5, 2024.
This extension ensures that both councils will continue to operate without interruption.
Taking to his X handle, Meghalaya CM Sangma wrote, "Cabinet today approved the proposal to extend the present terms of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the Jaiñtia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) for a period of 6 months. Since the terms of both the Councils will expire on 5th March 2024, the extension will be effective from that date."
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The Deputy Chief Minister, who is also in charge of District Council Affairs, Prestone Tynsong, communicated the cabinet's approval. He mentioned that the extension was necessary due to the ongoing work of the Delimitation Committees, which had been established by the Governor last year. These committees are tasked with redrawing constituency boundaries to ensure fair representation and have requested more time to complete their guidelines-prescribed duties.
The decision to extend the terms of the KHADC and JHADC aligns with the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which allows for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram to protect the rights of the tribal population.
In Meghalaya, there are three such Autonomous District Councils, including the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, each playing a crucial role in legislating on matters concerning the safeguarding of tribal rights, customs, and interests within their jurisdiction.
The Meghalaya government's move to extend the council terms has been officially recommended to the Governor for approval, after which the necessary orders will be issued. This extension also postpones the election process for these councils until the delimitation exercise is completed and a report is submitted by the autonomous district councils.
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