Tribal Affairs Minister's son not a 'tribal'

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Shillong, Dec 20 (UNI) The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has accused Union Tribal Affairs Minister P R Kyndiah's son Waibha K Kyndiah of being a 'non-tribal', though his parents belonged to the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya.

KHADC Chief Executive Member H S Shylla raised this issue after the All India Congress Committee allotted a party ticket to the Kyndiah scion, contesting the coming Assembly polls from Nongkrem.

''Mr Kyndiah is no longer a Khasi tribal and he cannot contest the elections from Nongkrem seat, which is reserved for ST candidates,'' Mr Shylla told UNI here today.

The maverick politician, who lost the Congress ticket to Shillong Lok Sabha MP's son, claimed that as per the Khasi Social Customs of Lineage Act 1997, Mr Waibha could no longer be considered a Khasi since he did not follow the matrilineal system.

''As per section 10 of the Act if any person changes the surname from the prevailing practice of taking the surname of the mother, he or she would cease to be the member of a Khasi scheduled tribe,'' the KHADC chief said.

Further, quoting Section 10 (c) of the Act, Mr Shylla pointed out that a Khasi would cease to be the same if he did not observe or was not governed by the Khasi matrilineal system of lineage.

He also said under Section 11 (1) of the same Act no person, who had ceased to be a Khasi, would be eligible for ST status.

The Congress leader, who decided to contest the election from Nongkrem constituency as ''Congress candidate'' said, ''Waibha Kyndiah's nomination papers would be rejected by the Deputy Commissioner on the ground that he did not belong to a ST.

The KHADC had passed Lineage Act on March 13, 1997 and the Governor gave his assent on February 23, 2005. The Act was published in the Gazette of Meghalaya on February 25,2005.

Meanwhile, the KHADC Chief has handed a copy of the legislation to AICC leader Oscar Fernandez, AICC secretary in-charge of the state Maj (retd) Ved Prakash and MPCC President OL Nongtdu.

Earlier, the KHADC chief was denied Congress ticket, reportedly after a last minute intervention by P R Kyndiah. The list, reportedly handwritten, had Waibha Kyndiah's name instead of Mr Shylla's.

UNI

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