As many as 42 villages with a total of 36,596 voters in the western part of Ukhrul district demand restoration of Sinakeithei assembly constituency as proposed by the 4th Delimitation Committee based on 2001 Census. Their voices were raised at a coordination meeting held at Sinakeithei village.
It is an unfortunate that the state government has not taken serious note to the situation faced by the people of Sinakethei SDC,” member, Coordination Committee of Restoration of Sinakeithei Assembly constituency, Worthington Mahung said at the meeting.
Pointing out that the office of Sinakeithei SDC is non-functional till date since its inauguration on December 18, 2017, Mahung said that employees are posted just for the namesake without performing any duty.
According to the 2001 Census figure, the 4th Delimitation Commission was constituted to carry out delimitation exercises.
The plight of the compact people around the western side of Ukhrul District has been neglected for a very long time inspite of dense population and big villages.
The past delimitation exercise was carried out injudiciously by spreading and scattering 13 Kuki villages and 29 Tangkhul villages in 44-Ukhrul AC and 45-Chingai AC.
The compact western side of Ukhrul district having fulfilled the population criteria and geographical affinity, the 4th Delimitation Commission has proposed for creation of Sinakeithei assembly constituency.
"Politically we want to unite. Therefore, the 42 villages of Sinakethei assembly constituency as proposed by the 4th Delimitation Commission based on the 2001 Census should be restored looking at the greater interest of the people in the western part of Ukhrul District,” said Worthington.
Another member of Coordination Committee, Restoration of Sinakeithei assembly constituency, Woriengam Angkang stated that in 2003, Member of Parliament to the 13th Lok Sabha, Holkhomang Haokip has also suggested for creation of fourth assembly constituency in Ukhrul district, looking at the population figure of Manipur based on 2001 Census.
The state government, however, in collusion with the central government has deferred the delimitation exercise on the pretext of law and order problem.
Former MP, Mani Cheranamai who was an associate member of Delimitation Commission on August 5, 2007 wrote in his letter No. 282/MR/2007 that “the allegation of unholy haste and the threat of dire consequences are baseless, ridiculous and uncalled for. It is highly unbecoming of responsible public representatives to cast such allegations and threat against the Constitutional Commission.
“The then Okram Ibobi-led Congress government on January 14, 2008, in collusion with the Congress led Central government through an ordinance inserted Section 10A to the Delimitation Act, 2002. Section 10A (1) reads that notwithstanding anything contained in sections 4, 8 and 9, if the President is satisfied that a situation has arisen whereby the unity and integrity of India is threatened or there is a serious threat to the peace and public order, he may, by order, defer the delimitation exercise in a state.
“On the pretext of law and order related problems, the delimitation exercise of Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal and Assam was deferred by the President's order of February 8, 2008.
"In 2014, the Supreme Court had asked the state government to request the Central government to rescind the order of 2008 and start the delimitation exercise. The then Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha had asked, what prevents you from making a fresh representation?"
Convener of Co-ordination Committee, Restoration of Sinakeithei assembly constituency, K Phungmi has stated that Union Ministry of Law and Justice on February 28 ordered for delimitation exercise under Section 8A of Representation of the People Act, 1950. Accordingly, on March 6, the Delimitation Commission was constituted. This order has given hope to the people from the western part of Ukhrul district.
The coordination meeting was attended by headmen, women representatives, youth leaders and elders from the western part of Ukhrul district. The meeting resolved to demand for an assembly constituency of the western part of Ukhrul district and the neighbouring foothill villages. It also resolved to prohibit anyone from committing any act that can impede the creation of the assembly constituency in the stated region, whatever the circumstances may be. The meeting was hosted by Sinakeithei village.