The All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) on Sunday threatened to resort to drastic forms of agitations against the non-holding of elections to the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in the hill districts of Manipur.
The extended terms of the six ADCs covering all the hill districts of the state are due to expire November 30.
“Why are ADC elections not held? The state government should clarify to ATSUM and to the tribal people of Manipur,” demanded SR Andria, the general secretary of the ATSUM.
SR Andria reminded the agitations planned by the apex student tribal body of Manipur and said that it was deferred after an agreement was signed with the state government on November 4 last.
He also said that the ATSUM had deferred its planned agitations after the state government gave an assurance that the ADC elections would be held timely (without further extension of the extended terms of the present ADCs”. Following the agreement, a cabinet meeting held on November 10 also decided to hold the elections without further extending the terms of the ADCs, he added.
The terms of the ADCs expired in May this year. However, the state government extended the tenure for six months citing various reasons including the COVID-19 pandemic and rainy season.
Asserting that the extended terms of the ADCs will expire on November 30, the ATSUM general secretary asked whether the state government is going to extend terms once again as there is no sign of the government taking up steps to hold the elections till date.
“We don’t like keeping the ADCs offices in an uncertain state. We feel that the state government is intentionally trying to suppress the democratic rights of the tribal people,” the ATSUM leader expressed.
The ATSUM leader then said the state government should not to take the patience of the ATSUM and tribal people as weakness.