HSPDP to push for separate Khasi Jaintia State

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SHILLONG, Feb 11: The Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) has announced its intention to continue pushing its demand for the creation of a separate Khasi Jaintia State as has been included in its election manifesto for the upcoming Autonomous District Council (ADC) polls.

The nine-point election manifesto was released by the HSPDP chief KP Pangniang at the party’s office here on Monday in the presence of general secretary Renikton L Tongkhar and chief organiser Samlin Malngiang, who is also a cabinet minister.

The HSPDP is the oldest regional political party in the state and is contesting from 14 seats in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council. The manifesto has a photo of its founding leader late Hopingstone Lyngdoh.

“The party will demand for a separate Khasi & Jaintia State as per Article 371 of the Constitution of India,” the manifesto said.  The party also assured to continue its demand for immediate resolving the age-old boundary dispute with Assam.

In order to protect the indigenous people, the party said it would fight to ensure that the Inner Line Permit system is implemented at the earliest to prevent illegal entry of outsiders into the state.

Reiterating its opposition against the move of the Centre to mine uranium in the state, the HSPDP has also assured to come up with proper mining policy to regulate mining of minerals.

The manifesto further stated that the party is also committed to further strengthen the functioning of the district councils by demanding deletion of the Para 12 A of the Sixth Schedule to the Indian Constitution.

“The party also seeks to empower the traditional institutions and tribal clans besides demanding the government to implement the direct funding to them,” it said.

The other issues include the need to include Khasi Language in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution of India and to come up with an Agriculture Policy to address the various problems faced by the farming community.