SHILLONG, May 19 (PTI): The Meghalaya government on Friday constituted a committee to address concerns over the roster of the job reservation policy in the state, chief minister Conrad K Sangma said.
It was also decided to put on hold government job recruitments until the panel headed by health minister Ampareen Lyngdoh submits its report on the roster, Sangma said after an all-party meeting on the issue.
A roster is an application to determine the reservation of posts in a cadre for different categories with reference to the applicable percentage of reservations.
The opposition Voice of the People Party (VPP), which is seeking a relook into the reservation system in the state, staged a walk-out of the meeting and announced an indefinite hunger strike from May 23 to press for its demand.
Since 1972, 40 per cent of the state government jobs are reserved for the Garo and Khasi communities each. Another five per cent is reserved for other tribes residing in the state while the remaining 15 per cent are for the general category.
Besides VPP having four MLAs in the 60-member assembly, representatives of other parties including those of the TMC and the Congress attended the meeting.
“In the meeting, most political parties were satisfied with the details presented. (However), concerns were also raised and clarifications were sought on the subject,” the chief minister tweeted.
In order to ensure that all the concerns are clarified, a committee chaired by Lyngdoh will be constituted with members from various political parties, he said.
“Considering the suggestions of the members of different political parties, the government has agreed to put on hold all new job advertisements till the committee gives its final report,” Sangma said.
VPP leaders staged a walkout of the all-party meeting to protest against the government’s decision not to discuss the need to relook into the alleged lapses of the reservation policy.
“We came out as we felt there was no need for us to sit there. We had come to discuss the reservation policy,” VPP spokesperson B Marboh said.
VPP president Ardent Basaiawmoit later announced that he and other party leaders will stage a hunger strike from May 23 next demanding that the state government relook into the reservation policy.
Basaiawmoit claimed that the reservation policy was ‘unfair’ to the Khasis.
The present policy needs a relook as the population of Khasis consisting of subtribes – Jaintias, Wars, Bhois and Lyngngams – is higher than the Garo people, the party claimed.
The VPP asserted that the population of the Khasis is over 16 lakh while that of the Garos is less than 10 lakh.