TODAY -

Campaigns pick up momentum
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 16 2015 : With just 15 days to go before the five hill districts go to ADC polls, elec-tioneering is steadily picking up momentum in different corners of the five districts.

Meanwhile, different sections of people have ques- tioned the very purpose of setting up ADCs when devolution of powers was done only on paper without actually enabling the ADCs to carry out their institutional functions effectively during the past five years.

As such, many are sceptical that the ADCs would not be able to implement any development programme at the grassroots level in the next five years too.

Nonetheless, NPF, BJP and Congress have been campaigning hard for their respective candidates.

With flag hoisting ceremonies and election rallies becoming a daily affair, mudslinging among different political parties and their candidates is also rising.

There are also reports that some armed groups are directly or indirectly involved in the election.

Notably, the last ADC election was held in 2010 after a gap of almost 20 years.

However, after the ADCs were elected, they were kept dysfunctional as devolution of powers was done only on paper.

Peeved with the Government's failure to empower them, ADC Members formed a platform under the banner Autonomous District Council Coordinating Committee and they were demanding adequate devolution of powers in action, not just in words or paper.

But the ADC Members were not very successful.

Kamuching DCC's sitting MDC and Autonomous District Council Coordinating Committee secretary Hemjathang is seeking re-election on INC ticket.

No ADC would be able to claim that they have done anything substantial for the public during the past five years, he said.

Speaking at a flag hoisting ceremony held at his Khongsai Veng residence today, Hemjathang said that ADCs as implied by the very term should be autonomous.

No one should have the authority to interfere in the working of an autonomous local self government.

"I contested the ADC election with a conviction to do something for the people of Kamuching DCC.

Even though I was elected, all my hopes were belied one after another during the past five years", Hemjathang said.

"Soon after I was elected, I was called to a camp opened by fellow MDCs for election of Chairman.

Even after the Chairman was elected, the ADC was rendered impotent to implement any development programme.

MDCs are in a precarious situation where they may face the ire of public", he said.

Even as the Autonomous District Council Coordinating Committee called on the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister on the issue of devolution of powers to ADCs, all their efforts achieved little success.

"ADCs do not have a single rupee now as their fund.

Yet, I have learnt a lot and I now have enough experience on how to improve the condition and functional capability of ADCs", Hemjathang said.

There can be meaningful development at the grassroots level only when the ADCs are empowered to the desired level, he asserted.

Hemjathang's flag was hoisted by MLA Yamthong Haokip.

The flag hoisting ceremony was attended by chiefs and leaders of different villages located within Kamuching DCC.


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