ANVC-B for all-round growth

Shillong, Jan. 3: The A'chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) breakaway faction today said it would participate in the "historic settlement" if it was beneficial to all three existing autonomous district councils of Meghalaya and the common people.

The ANVC (B) was responding to chief minister Mukul Sangma's invite, asking the outfit on Tuesday to take part in a tripartite meeting to held here on Saturday.

Officials from the Centre and state government, besides leaders of the ANVC, will the attending the meeting, which will work towards inking a permanent settlement on the basis of demands made by the outfit.

"Looking at the present scenario in the state, the ANVC (B) is of the opinion that the common people share the same deprivation. The 'historic settlement' should benefit the common man and bring changes at the grassroots level," ANVC (B) chairman Rimpu N. Marak said in a statement.

The group also wants introduction of "grassroots democracy" and strengthening of village-level governance.

"Our focus has always been the Garo people and Garo dominated areas, which undoubtedly will continue to be so. But we have seen places in Khasi and Jaintia Hills that need as much attention as we anticipate for our own areas. The state needs to consider a mechanism which will empower people and bring changes to these areas with direct funding from the Centre," Marak said.

Meghalaya has three autonomous district councils ' one each in Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills, created under the Sixth Schedule to protect the indigenous people.

Stating that "our people and our areas are our priority", Marak said the same benefit should percolate to all councils.

"Today we are not looking at secession but rather to be partners in productive development of our own areas. Therefore, we are ready to join the peace pact if the settlement benefits all the three councils of the state," he said.

The ANVC's demand at the time of signing the ceasefire pact with the Centre and the state government in July 2004 was for creation of separate state of Greater Garoland. It later scaled down the demand to that for a Garoland autonomous council on the lines of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). But since the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council already exists, like in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills, even the scaled-down demand has put the government in a spot.

Sources said the government would try and convince the ANVC leadership to agree to a settlement that would only strengthen the existing Garo Hills Autonomous District Council.

"Since the creation of a Garoland Autonomous Council is not feasible, the government will propose that more powers and new areas of jurisdiction will be given to the existing council," the source said.

The ANVC (B), too, does not seem to be averse to strengthening of the existing council.

"Our stand for strengthening of the council is open. However, we emphasise introduction of a mechanism that will empower the common man and allow direct flow of funds to the grassroots through village governance," the ANVC (B) chairman added.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

As two of the most glamorous sides in the Indian T20 league, the focus of the match between Mumbai and Bangalore will invariably be on the middle-order… More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »