Meghalaya BJP president denies Bernard's "choose ILP or 6th Schedule" remarks, says centre is examining demand

According to Mawrie, no such statement nor discussion on the same was held between the Shah and party functionaries in Shillong. 



Meghalaya BJP president Ernest Mawrie on Tuesday was quick to brush aside the claims made by party vice president Bernard Marak on the "choose Sixth Schedule or Inner Line Permit (ILP)" statement, saying that the remark was Bernard's personal interpretation of the outcome of the meeting held between the BJP leaders and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Shillong recently. 

According to Mawrie, no such statement nor discussion on the same was held between the Shah and party functionaries in Shillong. 

"The centre is examining the demand (for ILP) since Meghalaya is a transit state. But regarding the statement of Bernard, as elected MDC, maybe (that was) his personal statement, not the party's statement. And it is very clear after the meeting with the Home Minister, we have discussed this issue and he had clearly stated that he is examining this thing. There is no such thing as 'choose ILP or 6th Schedule'. 

Earlier, BJP vice president and Tura MDC Bernard Marak had said that during the meeting with the Union Home Minister in Shillong, Shah had told the party functionaries that the decision was up to the people to decide whether they need ILP or Sixth Schedule.

Mawrie said that during the meeting, the issues raised include - interstate boundary disputes, ILP, the inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the 8th Schedule and amendment to the 6th Schedule. 

"As you know, our government in Delhi are very keen to convert the district councils into territorial councils. So this is in the pipeline," he said. 

It may be mentioned that the issue of the Inner Line Permit has been dragging on for decades now and the recent meeting between the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and pro-ILP groups ended in a disappointment with no assurances given.  

Pro-ILP groups, comprising of various pressure groups and student bodies of Meghalaya, had condemned the alleged indifferent attitude of the Home Minister and termed his silence on the issue as a "big insult" to the indigenous people of Meghalaya. 

However, the BJP state president came out with a statement saying that during the meeting, the Home Minister had assured to examine the issues raised by the state party leaders. 

When asked about his opinion on the demand for ILP, he said, "This is the demand of the people of the state. Both our MLAs had also supported the resolution passed by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly (in 2019). The Home Minister had said that he is examining the demand. Since we are a transit state, so they are examining the situation."

(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)

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