The All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM), the apex body of the tribal people of Manipur submitted a memorandum to the governor Dr Najma Heptullah of Manipur on the matter of Autonomous District Council (ADC) Election 2020 on Monday.
The letter signed by the newly elected president Seiboi Haokip and general secretary S R Andria urged the governor for prompt redressal to the delayed election pointing out five key areas hindering the election process, chiefly the deferment of election of the six ADCs of Manipur hill districts by Hill Area Committee (HAC) upon whose recommendation to the government on January 29, 2020 was the election postponed to November 2020.
The apex student body, in the memorandum, questioned the legality under section 13 of the Manipur (Hills Areas) District Councils Act 1971, the deferment excuse of the election citing justification under “rainy season” by the former ADC Chairman as questionable.
“With ADCs election just around the corner, the state election commissioner had written to the Tribal Affairs and Hills Department for approval of holding ADC election in mid November 2020, pending opinion of the State Disaster Management Authority,” the letter said. With Bihar state assembly and by-election to 65 other vacant seats, ATSUM indicated there was no need to procrastinate in the announcement of ADC elections any further.
“The state election commission had also sought permission from the state government for publication of draft electoral rolls of ADCs of each constituency on September 14,” saying no such publication has been made aware to public.
Pointing out that the “tenure of the incumbent members of the six ADCs of the Hills Districts of Manipur will expire in November 2020” ATSUM said that it is “imperative that the government,” by which ATSUM means, ‘the governor’ under section 13 of the Manipur (Hills Areas) District Councils Act 1971, “to dissolve the six ADCs and pave the way for summoning of fresh Election along with the by-election to Manipur Legislative Assembly,” warning the ‘head of government’ to conduct ADC election within November to avoid social upheavals. ATSUM categorically said that the hill tribal people will not remain a silent spectator.