PCC protest: Deadlock continues

PCC protest: Deadlock continues
(TOP) A placard erected outside the New Secretariat complex, Kohima by protesters (Bottom) PCC members during one of the meeting with Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang on Friday. (Morung Photo)

 

Morung Express News
Kohima | November 17

 

Wearing black headbands to signify their protests, members of the Public Coordination Committee (PCC) submitted a 10 points charter of demand representation to the Chief Minister of Nagaland at his official residence ‘House of Hope’ on November 17 at around 1:00pm. Two meeting were held at the CM’s residence, the first meeting at 1:00pm and another at 5:30pm.

 

The representation demanded setting up of the State Lokayukta incorporating all points submitted earlier by the ACAUT in toto; immediate termination of all backdoor appointments made after June 26, 2016; declaration of written and interview marks of all NPSC exams on the day of result declaration, declaration of answer keys and recommendation of well qualified persons with integrity and possessing good track record as NPSC members.

 

Stating that the “Vigilance Commission is nothing but basically a toothless tiger,” Joel Nillo Kath expressed apprehension on the elections and the necessity to pass the Lokayukta Bill before elections. Instead of the passing it in the Winter Assembly, Kath requested for a special Assembly session in November to pass the Lokayukta bill.

 

“We appeal to your wisdom and sense of fairness. Four years is good enough to awaken the powers that be. We are speaking on behalf of the young generation whose lives have been deeply affected by the state of corruption in Nagaland,” he said.

 

Clarifying that the present protest has no political agenda, Advocate Kezhokhoto Savi stressed on the importance of setting up a Lokayukta in Nagaland to ensure transparency in governance.

 

In the first meeting, the CM stated that as soon as the Select Committee submits the report to the cabinet, and after the cabinet approval, the Lokayukta Bill can be passed in the Assembly.

 

“We are trying our best to make Nagaland a corrupt free state. But there should be a starting point. The system needs to be studied properly. Just passing the Lokayukta bill in Assembly is not going to remove any kind of corruption. We need to streamline the system and how to carry forward,” the CM stated.

 

Due to the instability in the government for the past few years, Er Levi Rengma, Chairman of the Select Committee for Nagaland Lokayukta Bill noted that the Committee members were also not sure whether they would continue to be members.

 

“We also want to give our best to be introduced in the State,” said Rengma, while also informing that the committee studied the other States that had adopted the Lokayukta and compared the Nagaland draft bill with other states. The committee studied the Lokayukta in Karnataka where they met the members in the committee in Karnataka and discussed the pros and cons of the bill, he informed.

 

During the meeting, the PCC members expressed concern on whether the contents of the bill are not suitable for corrective measures or for the public. “Lokayukta should not be another Vigilance Commission; then the very purpose of the Lokayukta will be defied,” stated Mar Longkumer from the PCC.

 

The CM meanwhile suggested that the PCC and the Committee convene a meeting this week before the draft is submitted to the Cabinet on Monday. “For the government’s side to pass the act there is no obstruction. Later on we can go on amending because this is our Act. Let us not try to make the law perfect at one go,” he said.

 

The PCC impressed upon the government to immediately implement the several demands which were put forth. Until such a time, the PCC said it would continue and intensify the agitation, while also taking recourse to more stringent measures.

 

Another meeting between the PCC members and the Chief Minister was also reportedly held late in the evening. However, the outcome of the meeting could not be ascertained.

 

PCC demands submitted to Chief Minister

  1. Immediately set up Lokayukta incorporating all the points submitted to the Government of Nagaland by ACAUT in Toto.
  2. Revert back class III Posts (Grade pay of Rs. 2800 and above) to NPSC.
  3. Immediately terminate all backdoor appointments made after June 6, 2016.
  4. Revoke the P&AR OM No. AR-3/ GEN-174/2007 (pt) dated 26th October, 2017.
  5. Immediately scrap the Departmental Recruitment Board and set up State Staff Selection Board to recruit all class III posts with grade pay less than Rs.2800. Until such time, all these posts should be requisitioned to NPSC for open recruitment, the exams of which should be only written and without interview in line with the policy of the central government.
  6. NPSC should declare written and interview marks of all exams on the day of result declaration. In this regard, government should amend the P&AR OM No. AR-1/8/88 dated Kohima the 3rd August 1995 (waiting list).
  7. Declare the answer keys of all examinations conducted by NPSC.
  8. Reduce the interview marks from 75 to 50 in the state Civil Services Exam interview.
  9. NPSC should also set maximum and minimum benchmarks in viva voce examination.
  10. Recommend persons who are well qualified, possessing good track record and impeccable integrity as NPSC members, majority of which should be retired IAS/IPS/NCS/ NPS officials.