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The Zonal Councils provide a forum where irritants between the Centre and the States and among the States themselves can be resolved through free and frank discussions and consultations. The States have been divided into five zones and each zone has its Council comprising the Chief Minister, two Ministers and the Chief Secretary of each State. The Zonal Councils are headed by the Union Home Minister and each zone nominates one Chief Minister as its Vice-Chairman on rotation basis. The Zonal Councils are statutory (and not constitutional) bodies. They are established by an Act of the Parliament, that is, the States Re organisation Act of 1956. The Act divided the country into five zones (Northern, Central, Eastern, Western and Southern) and provided a Zonal Council for each zone. The North Eastern Council was created by a separate Act of the Parliament — the North Eastern Council Act of 1971. Its members include Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim.

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