Imphal: The Manipur Tribals’ Forum for Delimitation (MTFD), a non-political body of the hills or tribal people of Manipur, has submitted a Memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought his attention and intervention for timely completion of the delimitation exercise which is based on 2001 Census.
“MTFD represents the interest of all the tribal people living in the hill districts of Manipur and we express our utmost desire to ensure that the present Delimitation exercise be carried out without further delay and manipulation of its purpose and intent as mandated by the Parliament and the Constitution of India,” read the memorandum which has submitted to PM Modi on Thursday.
In the memorandum, the tribal forum urged the prime minster to ensure proper delimitation exercise of redrawing and re-adjustment of constituencies for proportionate representation of all communities living in the state of Manipur, both in the state Legislative Assembly as well as the House of the people based on 2001 Census and also on geographical size and terrain.
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As per the press statement issued on Friday, MTFD stated that since statehood was given to Manipur in 1972, the tribal people inhabiting the hills of in the state were deprived of their fair share in the division of seats of the legislature.
The tribal population constitutes more than 40% of the total state population, but only 19 seats in a house of 60 were allotted by the Third Delimitation Commission in 1973, which they said it’s a ‘direct violation’ of Article 332 of the Constitution of India, wherein proportionate representation of the Scheduled Tribe population is stipulated.
Now, the forum, through the written memorandum, has appealed PM Modi to ensure smooth functioning of the Delimitation Commission, free from political interference and without discrimination to the tribal people of Manipur, unlike what was experienced in the past during the Third Delimitation Commission in 1973 and the Fourth deferred Delimitation Commission of 2002.
The forum also pointed out that when the delimitation was originally deferred by invoking the Presidential Ordinance of 2008, faulty census was not cited as the main reason,
Thus, for 18 long years the tribals of Manipur have been denied justice, the forum alleged.
“MTFD would also like to appeal to your good self not to get swayed by narrow political and social narratives from some sections of the society about a possible turmoil in the state if the Delimitation exercise is not delayed until 2026. Such narratives and rhetoric are mischievous moves to mislea the Central government and the Delimitation Commission being headed by Justice (retd.) Ranjana Desai,“ the memo said.
While justifying their appeal, it also stated that 2001 Census has been widely used by academicians, administrators, researchers and policy makers of the country is testimony to its credibility. Therefore, any claim to disown or cast aspersion on the official Census 2001 would be a gross justice, stated the Forum.
The forum also appealed to all rule-following individuals and justice loving citizens of India to support the deferred Delimitation exercise in the state of Manipur on the basis of the 200 census.