Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Manipur ADC polls in May

Imphal, April 26: The State Election Commission today issued notification for the first phase of autonomous district council elections in Manipur.Elections to six ADCs in the state’s five hill districts will be held in two phases.In the first phase, voters will exercise their right to franchise for district councils in Sadar Hills, Churachandpur and Chandel districts. Voting will be held from 7am to 3.30pm.The notification for polling for Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Senapati councils is expected in seven days’ time.The last date for filing of nomination for the first phase is May 3. Scrutiny will be held the next day while the last date for withdrawal of nomination is May 6.The notification issued by secretary, State Election Commission, Th. Chitra, said the election process for the first phase would be completed on or before June 16.Each of the district councils will have 24 members each and the chairperson will be elected by the new members.Chandel has 128 polling stations in five blocks, Sadar Hills in Senapati district has 169 polling centres in three blocks. Churachandpur has 255 polling booths in five blocks.Elections to the ADCs will be held for the first time in 20 years. Official sources said elections could not be held because of the process for amendment of Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (Third Amendment) Act, 2008, delimitation process and revision of voter list.The amendment of the act, however, failed to satisfy the communities in the hill districts. The State Election Commission issued the notification as an economic blockade is on along the Imphal-Kohima and the Imphal-Jiribam national highways against the elections.The United Naga Council (UNC), the apex body of the Naga community in Manipur, and the Tribal Youth Council, a body formed by youths from various communities in the hill districts, have also been opposing the election.The UNC termed the government’s move as “indifferent and chauvinistic attitude” towards the hill people. “We see it as a deliberate attempt to strangulate the tribal peoples of their fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. Having failed to understand the sentiments and to uphold the interest and wishes of the people by the government, including the Hill Areas Committee and Council of Ministers, we find no other option but to continue with our own course of action till the undesirable Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Amended Act, 2008 is nullified and the election notification withdrawn,” a UNC statement issued tonight said. The MPP rejected the polls, maintaining that there was no reservation for women.