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Dr Pfoze seeks President's intervention on Speaker's HAC order
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, September 07 2021: Outer Lok Sabha MP of Manipur Dr Lorho S Pfoze wrote to the President of India seeking his intervention in the recent order issued by Manipur Legislative Assembly speaker regarding appointment of nine valley MLAs as members of the Hill Areas Committee of the assembly.

The NPF MP in his letter to the President said: "The divide between the valley and the hill areas existed right from the days when the Maharaja ruled the valley.

It was only under the British India that administration was loosely extended to the hill areas of Manipur".

Considering the historical background of the relationship between the valley people and the hill tribes of Manipur, the centeal government had provided statutory provisions with certain safeguards against exploitation and a mechanism for addressing the issues relating to the hill areas such as Article 371C, Hill Areas Committee and Autonomous District Councils, the MP wrote in his letter.

He further said that the Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly on September lissued an order whereby nine MLAs from the valley districts have been included in the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) raising the strength of the committee from 20 to 29 .

The action of the speaker is malicious and devious interpretation of Article 371C of the Constitution and the Presidential Orders dated 20th June 1972.It is an assault on the safeguards and protection provided to the Hill Areas and people living within it by Article 371C of the Constitution, he said.

He also termed the order as a blatant misuse of majoritarianism by the dominant community.

The districts which the nine MLAs represent were not in the original scheduled area of Hills as mentioned in the First Schedule of the Presidential Order and as such they do not have rights or locus standi to discuss and deliberate on the schedule matters listed in the Second Schedule for hill areas.

"As the action of the Speaker is illegal, ultra-vires to the Constitution of India, and is likely to cause social disharmony and tension, I earnestly appeal to kindly have the order dated September 1, 2021 cancelled/revoked for maintaining communal harmony and lowering down the social tension in Manipur and to institute the legal grounding of provisions of Article 371C of the Constitution in the Hill Areas of Manipur for peace, harmony, equitable growth and development of all sections of the State," the MP stated in his letter.

He also stated that recently, HAC had approved and recommended a draft legislation named "The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous Councils Bill, 2021 to be tabled in the recently concluded assembly session but was rejected by the state government.

He then requested the President to advise the state government to deal with the issue very sensitively and diligently and as early as possible while stating that as the relationship between the hills and plain is very fragile.


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