The All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) has appealed to the government to dissolve the present Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in November 2020 and called for fresh election at the earliest.
Speaking to the media at ATSUM office in Adimjati Complex on Friday, its general secretary, SR Andria said that the five-year term for the ADC chairman expired on June 1 according to the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971.
“As such, the preemptive decision taken on July 21 to extend their term for the second time by ADC chairmen of Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Kangpokpi and Chandel with a solo motive of meeting their personnel whims is an abuse to their chair,” he contended.
The people of the state are reeling under the dreadful pandemic of COVID-19. However, we need to have mandated representatives as per the law for effective governance, he said. He termed it unfortunate that the first extension of the ADCs term was initiated with the recommendation of the Hill Areas Committee on January 16.
It was done by misinterpreting the rainy session as administrative problem to the Election Commission and further recommending conducting the ADCs election in dry session preferably in November, added Andria.
He maintained that the ADCs chairmen approaching the Hill Areas Committee to postpone the election in the name of harvest is a ‘shameless’ attempt to disenfranchise the public.
As ECI had already announced to conduct by-election for two constituencies of the state, Andria lamented that withholding of ADC election on the pretext of COVID-19 pandemic is an act of mockery and is irrational.
The ATSUM general secretary also cautioned that the Hill Areas Committee and the state government should be held accountable for any eventualities that may arise in coming days for failing to heed the appeal of ATSUM.