ATSUM general secretary Andrea Anal and his team addressing the press persons on Friday Credit: EastMojo image

Imphal: Taking on the chairmen of the four Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) following their request for extension of terms of office for another six months, the All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) has expressed their astonishment on the “selfish” acts of the ADC leaders.

Speaking with media persons, ATSUM general secretary Andrea Anal pointed out that the approach of the four ADC chairmen to the chairman of Hill Areas Committee (HAC) for an extension of terms of all members of ADCs by another six months is not only irrational but a mockery to the system.

“We are astonished and disturbed with the selfish act of the chairmen of the four ADCs from UKhrul, Chandel, Tamenglong and Kangpokpi,” said Andrea.

This act of the ADC chairmen to further extend their term by another six months is shameless attempts to disenfranchise the people for whom they are supposed to serve honourably, he added.

He further stated that deferring ADC polls and not holding the elections in November on the pretext of activities related to agriculture and harvest is ridiculous.

People in Manipur, especially in hill areas, are engaged in agriculture activities for a livelihood throughout the year.

When do we, hill people of the state, don’t have activities related to agriculture, asked Andrea.

It may be recalled that much before the national lockdown was imposed across the country, the state cabinet had resolved to extend the term of office of all the members of the six ADCs on March 3 after HAC recommended postponement of the ADC election to November 2020.

Also Read: Manipur issues Unlock 2 guidelines; lockdown to stay in C-zone till Oct 31

However, the body termed the extension of the term of office without a valid reason as demeaning the grassroots institution of the state.

The raining season was deliberately misinterpreted by HAC as an administrative problem and thus recommended the state Election Commission to hold the ADC elections in dry season preferably in November this year, it said.

We are indeed reeling under the dreadful pandemic. However, for the effective governance to deal with all these problems, we need to have mandated representatives according to the law, said the hill students’ apex body.

Pointing out that the tenure of the incumbent six ADCs of the hill districts of Manipur will expired in November; the body has urged the government to dissolve all the ADC members and pave ways for conducting of fresh elections along with the by-polls of the Manipur Legislative Assembly announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The act of withholding elections and depriving the people to exercise their democratic rights is not an honourable act for hon’ble members, Andrea said.

Failing to heed to the appeal of ATSUM, HAC and state government should be held accountable for any eventualities that may arise in coming days.

Also Read: Manipur Congress condemns ‘attack’ on Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh

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