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Meghalaya: BJP seeks legal experts opinion on roster system

The party said that it has formed a committee to study the implementation of the roster system and so far two rounds of discussion have been held.

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Shillong: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is one of the constituents of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government has sought the assistance of legal experts for their opinion on the sensitive roster system for job reservation, even as it said that it’s for the government to decide whether the system should be implemented prospectively or retrospectively.

The party said that it has formed a committee to study the implementation of the roster system and so far two rounds of discussion have been held.

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“We are consulting legal experts which include SP Mahanta’s (senior lawyer and BJP member) legal team. We are in a consultation process on the issue,” Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang, one of the members of the committee, Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang, said.

Endorsing the Meghalaya High Court directive, which first asked the state government to implement the roster system, Shangplaing said, the party would like to leave it to the government to take further decisions.

There has been a huge uproar on the implementation of the roster system. The issue came up in the High Court by chance in which the court accidentally came to know that the roster system was not being followed while filling government job vacancies.

The High Court immediately ordered the government to stop all government recruitment processes till the roster system is in place. Now after the system is finally put into place, civil society groups from Garo and Khasi Hills are at loggerheads.

Garo Hills-based civil society groups want the roster system to be implemented retrospectively (1972 from statehood) while those in Khasi Hills want it to be implemented prospectively or from the date the new system is implemented.

Under the state recruitment policy, 40 per cent of government jobs are reserved each for the Garo and Khasi Hills region, making it 80 per cent. Another 5 percent is reserved for other recognized minor tribes of the state and the rest is the open category.

Prominent groups from Garo Hills claim that they were deprived of their right from the days of statehood as the roster system was not followed and they didn’t get their share of 40 per cent government jobs.

“Whether the roster system should be implemented retrospectively or prospectively we leave it to the wisdom of the government,” Shangplaing reiterated.

The High Court too has left this sensitive decision to the legislature while asking it to follow and implement the roster system in letter and spirit. 

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