TODAY -
Tribal bodies to boycott Sonia's visit
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 11 2010: A joint meeting of various tribal organisations, social workers, political leaders and village chiefs held under the aegis of Tribal Joint Action Committee on Delimitation (TJACD), Manipur has unanimously resolved to boycott the visit of INC supremo Sonia Gandhi to Manipur on November 12 .

Announcing this in a statement, convenor of TJACD H Benjamin Mate alleged that the present Congress led Government both at the Centre and the State have been denying Constitutional rights of the tribals in Manipur.

He pointed out that process of delimitation of Assembly Constituencies in Manipur has been stalled by a stay order of Gauhati High Court (Imphal Bench) on a writ petition field by All Political Parties, Manipur.

However, the Supreme Court on July 13, 2007 stayed the impugned order of the Gauhati High Court and set the stage for the Delimitation Commission to complete its task in respect of Manipur after several hearings on a petition filed by Indo-Myanmar Tribal Development Association (IMTA) on behalf of various tribal organisations in the State.

The existing number of reserved seats for ST population of the State is 19 out of the total 60 Assembly seats, which works out to just about 31.6 percent despite the fact that the ST population in Manipur as per the 1971 census is more than 33 percent, Benjamin further pointed out, while asserting that this clearly shows that even in the existing set up, a fair share has not been given to the tribal people of Manipur.

Furthermore, sub-clause (iii) of the Guidelines and Methodology for delimitation has provides that the number of seats to be reserved for SC and ST in the House of People and State Legislative Assemblies shall be re-worked on the basis 2001 census.

However, much to the surprise of the tribal people, the Congress led UPA Government at the Centre and the SPF Government in the State have violated all constitutional norms to obstruct the Constitutional rights of the tribal people.

Such conscious efforts on the part of the State and the Central Government to maintain status quo by delaying and trying to hinder the Delimitation exercise in Manipur amounts to Constitutional fraud, the TJACD statement asserted.

It also called upon all the tribal apex bodies, student organisations, social workers and village chiefs to support the JAC in boycotting the visit of Sonia Gandhi as well as in related future course of agitations to be taken up until delimitation of Assembly Constituencies of Manipur is effected on the basis of 2001 Census.


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