On Delimitation, ATSUM irked

The All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) is irked on how members of the Delimitation Committee are nominated in Manipur.

In a press statement issued on Thursday, the ATSUM alleged that the sentiment of the hill people was ignored while nominating members of the Delimitation Committee.

According to the apex tribal student body of Manipur, the issue of delimitation has been in the limelight ever since the Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department) issued an order on February 28, 2020 for rescinding the notification No. S.O. 283(E) dated 8th February, 2008 subsequent to the notification, the state legislative assembly in accordance with the provisions of the Delimitation Act 2002. It also said that the Delimitation Committee was constituted vide notification of Ministry of Law and Justice on March 6, 2020 with 5 associate members nominated by the Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly.

The ATSUM then said that out of the many political parties in the hills and valley, one political party of the hills which is an important coalition partner of the BJP led coalition government has been left out and for which discontentment from various quarters have been pouring in to register the grievance for redressal. “It is worth mentioning here that the resignation of Samuel Jendai from the membership of the Manipur Legislative Assembly prevented him from being an associate member of the Delimitation Committee who erstwhile represented Tamenglong district,” it reminded.

According to the ATSUM, to further “aggravate the socio- political scenario” in the state, the Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly had on July 31, 2020 nominated a member from general category in place of Samuel Jendai leaving behind Tamenglong, Chandel, Ukhrul and Senapati unrepresented in the delimitation process. “The discriminatory and arbitrary nature of nomination of associate members without taking into consideration the interest and sentiment of the tribal legislators is an act of suppression and oppression,” the ATSUM added.

It then said that if an “objective view” of the tribal people is not judiciously considered for equal representation in the delimitation process, the All Tribal students’ Union Manipur will never remain a mute spectator “but will resort to any feasible agitation unless corrective measures are taken to enable equal representation”. The ATSUM added by saying, “Our shared opinions and aspirations in this regard will persist until our considered demand is met”.

The ATSUM then said that, considering the “fluidity of situation and discontentment” arising out of the “bias nomination” of a general associate member of the Delimitation Committee against the vacancy created by a tribal legislator, “it is imperative to act in a just and fair manner to avoid further complications in governance”.

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