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Committee demands ST Reserved Constituency in valley, submits respresentation to Delimitation Commission of India
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 25 2020: The Manipur Valley Scheduled Tribe Assembly Constituency Demand Committee (MVSTACDC) has submitted a memorandum to the Chairperson of the Delimitation Commission of India demanding creation of Scheduled Tribe Reserved Assembly Constituency in Manipur Valley areas.

The representation submitted to the Delimitation Commission and Election Commission of India said creation of the ST (Scheduled Tribe) Reserved Constituency in the valley areas will bring about equal representation of the people, equal opportunity for all citizens and ensure participation of the backward and weaker section in the democratic decision making process.

Welcoming the "right" decision of the Delimitation Commission to readjust the existing Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies of the State based on the 2001 census, MVSTACDC said that four valley districts-Imphal East (including Jiribam), Imphal West, Bishnupur and Thoubal, have 40 out of 60 seats in the State Assembly and there are more than 120 tribal villages and colonies in about 24 valley Assembly Constituencies with more than 50,000 permanent residents.

More than 100 tribal villages and colonies are scattered within a radius of 25 kilometres from the State capital, in Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur districts while about 20 tribal villages are scattered in Jiribam Assembly Constituency, said MVSTACDC.

Numerous tribal communities reside in the valley namely Zeliangrong (including Zeme, Liangmai, Rongmei, Kabui, Inpui, Naga), Kuki (including Haokip, Thadou, Khongsai, Kipgen, Baite etc) Vaiphei, Gangte, Khoibu, Simte, Mate, Tangkhul, Poumai, Mao, Koireng, Chiru, Moyon, Lamkang, Aimol, Monsang, Anal, Mizo, Paite, Zou, Hmar, Kharam, Kom, Maring, Thangal, Maram, Tarao and Khasi etc, said the memorandum.

These tribal peoare "politically unaware, economically poor, educationally lagging behind and socially backward".

The four valley districts having administrative units with all the State level Government offices and establishments such as hospitals and healthcare centres, educational institutions and others are the most advanced.

The four districts are well connected with good roads.

Creating ST Reserved Constituency in these valley areas will not cause any hardship for the tribal people in terms of administration, transportation and communication, said the committee.

The committee pointed out that the objective of the Government of India to uplift their living standard is far from reality as they are not entitled to any of the grants and benefits under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India except for ST student scholarship.

While the tribal people living in hill districts of Manipur are entitled to benefits of various schemes, grants, financial assistance, the valley tribal people are not able to get the same benefits as the schemes are meant only for those in the hill districts, the committee said adding there is no separate arrangement being made to address the grievances and plight of the valley tribal people.

The committee maintained that there has not been a single tribal representative elected from the 40 valley Assembly Constituency so far.

There is no chance for the tribal people who are scattered in the valley districts to elect their own representatives as they are a minority and have negligible population, it said adding their living standard and growth can't be improved unless ST Reserved Constituency is created.

"Manipur is home to many communities/tribes, therefore communal harmony and social progress can be achieved only when there is equal privilege and opportunity, equal sharing and equal benefits for all citizens irrespective of their community/tribe.

There cannot be communal harmony and social progress as long as disparity persists," said the committee adding creation of the Scheduled Tribe Reserved Assembly Constituency in the valley areas will bring "long lasting permanent solution" for communal harmony, social progress and peaceful coexistence in the State in the days to come.

Creation of the ST Reserved Assembly Constituency will also strengthen the social bond and vanish the "feeling of alienation and suppression" borne out of inequality in social progress and development, the committee noted.


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