“The guardian of the ADCs in the Hill areas is the HAC. But HAC Members have also unfortunately remained mute spectators in regards to holding of ADCs election at the earliest, ” stated TMNL
TFM Ukhrul Correspondent
Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long (TMNL) on Thursday organised a Sit-in-Protest at Gandhi Chowk, Ukhrul to voice out against the undue delay in holding the ADCs election even after more than two years of the expiry of the ADCs tenure. The ADCs tenure has already ended on May 31, 2020.
In a press release by TMNL stated that, “It is once again reminded that, according to the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act, 1971 and as per Section 15 of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (Election of Members) Rules, 2009, a general election shall be held for the purpose of constituting a new District Council on the expiration of the duration of the existing District Council or on its dissolution. However, the Government has miserably failed to conduct the election to ADCs of Manipur till date. We could not understand the logic behind the delay in holding the ADCs election.
“It is in this context that we have raised various questions to the Government of Manipur as well as to the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) in today’s protest. In a democracy, elections to various local bodies such as ADCs and other local bodies in urban areas should be conducted before the expiry of the tenure. However, we failed to understand as to why the State Government is delaying in holding the local body elections even after the expiry of their tenure. It is to be pointed out that the guardian of the ADCs in the Hill areas is the HAC. But HAC Members have also unfortunately remained mute spectators in regards to holding of ADCs election at the earliest.”
The press release further stated that, “the protestors wanted the Government to honour the assurance given to the August House in the last Manipur Legislative Assembly. To many people, HAC is there to protect the democratic and constitutional rights of the tribal community of Manipur. But it is exhibiting otherwise at this juncture. Without holding the ADCs election on time would simply means that HAC is hand in glove with the Government of Manipur in delaying the ADCs elections to the general observers. Non-holding of ADCs election on time conveys that democratic and constitutional rights of the tribals are being suppressed. The TMNL does not want the HAC and the Government to suppress and suspend the democratic and constitutional rights of the tribals. In fact, TMNL wants the HAC and the Government of Manipur to uphold the rights and aspirations of the tribals. We want ADCs being strengthened and empowered. It is the need of the tribal community to stand up for their rights. We shall not allow suspension of democratic process by the Government.
“We felt that, this delay in holding of ADCs elections has not only negatively affected the development prospects in the Hill Areas but also gravely de-generated the ethos of the democratic institution of the only local self-Government functioning in the whole of tribal areas. We felt that non-holding of ADCs election has the great potential of creating sense of more “Divide between the Hills and the Valley” in Manipur. It may not be wrong to mention here that most of the developments are being concentrated in the Valley while neglecting the Hills for the last many years by the successive governments. This is the crux of the matter why tribal people are feeling insecure and displease. In order to bring equal development and justice and fairness in the administration of the State as a whole, Elections to ADCs need to be conducted at the earliest possible without any further delay as the proverbial saying goes, “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied” rightly said.”
The TMNL fervently appealed to the HAC to complete the process of DCC-adjustments at the earliest. “We also ardently appeal the State Government and all the stakeholders to initiate steps so as to hold the ADCs election at the earliest possible time before the rainy season. We hope and pray that the HAC and the Government of Manipur will positively respond to our appeal without any further delay in holding the ADCs election, ” added the release by TMNL.
Many concerned citizens and youth participated in the protest. The protestors displayed various placards which read “Non-holding of ADCs election is a denial of Democratic and Constitutional rights to Tribals”, “We demand early conduct of ADCs election”, “We demand HAC to Stand up for the tribal rights”, “Where is HAC?, What is HAC for?, “HAC-why killing the ADCs of the Hill Areas”, “Go to Hills” “Go to Villages” is meaningless without ADCs”.