ATSUM demand ADC election in Manipur

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Imphal, Sept 29: The All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) the apex body of the tribal people of Manipur has submitted a memorandum to the Governor of Manipur drawing her attention to hold Autonomous District Council (ADC) by November 2020.

“The tenure of the incumbent six ADCs of the Hill Districts of Manipur will be expired by November 2020.

It is therefore imperative on the part of the Government of Manipur to dissolve the six ADCs and pave ways for summoning of fresh Election along with the by-election Manipur Legislative Assembly”, the memorandum submitted to the governor of Manipur stated.

It further said that the Election Commission of India has decided to hold elections to Bihar State Assembly and by-elections to 65 vacant seats all over the country.

As such, there is no palpable reason to procrastinate in the announcement of ADC Elections in the Hill Districts of Manipur and added that the State Election Commission had also sought permission from the state government for publication of draft electoral rolls of ADCs of each constituency on 14 September, 2020 but no such publication has been made to that effect.

The memorandum stated that the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) for reasons best known to them had recommended to the Govt. of Manipur vide Resolution No. 34/2020 HAC, clause (i) dated 29h January, 2020 for deferment of election of the six ADCs of the Manipur Hill Districts and for holding of ADC elections in the month of November 2020 due to rainy season without pondering the legality of the provisions enshrined in the Principle Act of 1971.

It also added that section No. 13, second paragraph of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act, 1971, explicitly states that “provided that the Administrator may, when satisfied that it is necessary in order to avoid administrative difficulty, extend the term of office of all the members by such period not exceeding one year as he/ she thinks fit”. Here the word “Administrator” is construed as the head of the state, i.e. the Governor of Manipur.

It is pertinent to mention here that the spirit of the principle Act is just a onetime arrangement in order to avoid administrative difficulty arising out of social turmoil.

Natural calamity or financial breakdown in the state/Hill Areas and not “rainy season” as justified by the former Chairman of the HAC.

It added that the Manipur, the tribal populace under the aegis of the ATSUM will never remain a Silent spectator if elections to the six ADCs are not held in consonance with the resolution adopted on 3 March 2020 in a Cabinet meeting for holding of election in the month of November 2020.