Agartala: The administrator role in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) has been extended for another six months as elections could not be held amidst the outbreak of novel coronavirus, said Tripura Governor Ramesh Kumar Bais on Tuesday.

Earlier, on March 26, the elections of the district council were deferred for an indefinite period.

After the term of TTAADC expired on May 17, administrative power was handed over to the Governor since the elections could not be conducted amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Following Constitutional provisions, Tripura Cabinet approved the transfer of administrative power of the ADC to the Governor. As a result, the council was dissolved on May 17 last.

On May 18, Tripura governor Ramesh Bais nominated G Kameshwara Rao as the administrator of TTAADC, day after the tenure of the executive committee dissolved.

The Tripura state cabinet approved the transfer of all powers of the ADC to the Governor under Article 16 (2) of the Sixth Schedule which allowed the governor rule for 6 months in the TTAADC. However, it was decided that the government could extend the deadline if he wanted to.

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In a similar incident, the term of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in Assam had also expired in April and elections were postponed due to the outbreak of the virus. The administrative power was handed over to the governor to manage the administration.

However, elections for the Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam have been announced today. Elections would be held on December 7 in the first phase and on December 10 in the second phase. The count will be held on December 12.

The administrative power for six months expired on Tuesday from the TTAADC, but the coronavirus outbreak is still a concern, so the governor has extended the term for another six months.

The governor in its notification has cited that the World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned everyone about corona and advised them to follow hygiene rules. Mentioning all these issues, the deadline for handing over the administrative power to the Governor in the ADC has been extended for another six months as elections are not possible now.

The TTAADC is spread into 68% of the total geographical area of the state and is home to over one-third of the total population of Tripura.

Earlier in January, during the sixth session of the 12th Tripura Legislative Assembly, the resolution to increase the seats of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) from 30 to 50 was unanimously passed.

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Meanwhile, the opposition CPIM has in a press statement has condemned the further extension of TTAADC by the governor of Tripura and termed it as democratic from on Tuesday.

“The elections for the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in Assam have been announced today. Due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus was postponed for six months in the month of April last. Tripura Governor in the month of May had appointed an administrator for six months and today in a fresh notification the tenure of administration has been extended for another six months”, the press statement reads.

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The copy of the press statement also cited that amidst COVID-19, the Bihar elections and bi-elections of various states were conducted and the neighbouring Assam has announced the elections of BTC, so why different treatment for TTAADC, the statement informed.

“There is no doubt in assuming that on advice of the BJP led state government, the governor has taken this undemocratic decision. We demand immediate conduct of the TTAADC election with fearless and rightful elections”, the press statement added.

Congress vice president Tapas Dey said that further deferred of the ADC polls is not acceptable, since polls in other states and territorial councils are being announced amidst the pandemic.

“The BJP has lost their hold in the tribal areas and in order to make a deal with the ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) they have deferred the elections further. The rights of the people is being violated by extending the administrators role in the ADC areas”, Dey said.

Attempts were made to contact with BJP spokesperson, Nabendu Bhattacharya but he was not availble for his comments.

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