TODAY -

Start delimitation process: ATRPFM
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 19 2020: The All Tribal Rights Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) has submitted a representation to the President of India to intervene and effect the delimitation based on 2001 census in Manipur, which is facing opposition from many sectors citing discrepancies in the census in some hill districts.

Emphasising that the delimitation based on 2001 is necessary for ensuring equal representation of the people and maintaining 'equilibrium' between the hill people and valley people, ATRPFM contended that there is disproportionate distribution of population per Constituency when valley and hill districts are compared.

ATRPFM in its representation said that Manipur with a total population of about 22,93,896 has about 8,82,130 (population) in the hill districts and about 14,11,766 in the valley districts.

It may be noted that of the total 60 Assembly seats (Constituencies), 40 are unreserved, 19 seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes and 1 seat is reserved for Scheduled Caste.

40 Assembly Constituencies are in the valley while 20 are hill districts.

ATRPFM in its representation maintained that each Constituency has an average population of about 38,231.6 (total population of Manipur divided by 60 seats).

Similarly, each Constituency in the valley districts has a population size of about 35,294.15 (total valley population divided by 40 seats), which is 2,937.45 less than the average population per Constituency (38,231.6).For hill districts, each Constituency has a population of about 44,106.5 (total hill district population divided by 20 seats), which exceeds the average population per Constituency by 5,874.9 .

(In the representation, ATRPFM claimed that the population per Constituency in hill districts exceeds the average population per Constituency of the State which is 38,231.6 by 8,196.29) .

ATRPFM further stated that hill districts cover a total geographical area of more than 20,000 square kilometres with only 20 MLAs while the valley covers only about 2,000 square kilometres with 40 MLAs (Assembly seats).

People in the hill districts live in difficult terrain where landslides and other natural calamities are frequent.

Hill people need huge amount of funds for construction and repairing of roads.

An MLA of a hill Constituency has to maintain more than 1,000 sq km while an MLA of a valley Constituency needs to maintain only about 50 sq km, it said.

Hill districts are "deprived" of good communication, medical and educational facilities and are highly dependent on cultivation.

Their livelihoods are extremely difficult.

All developmental works and facilities are "concentrated" in valley districts, it said.

ATRPFM further claimed that there is "no further dispute" on the 2001 census.

"The defect and discrepancy have been rectified but the State Government and all political parties under the chairmanship of O Ibobi Singh are still making allegations that there are discrepancies and defects in the 2001 census which are totally baseless," ATRPFM asserted.

The then State Government on November 18, 2005 under CM O Ibobi had submitted a representation to the Chairman of Delimitation Commission for maintaining status quo and defer the delimitation on "baseless allegations" .

Citing doubtful census (2001) and anticipating loss of 3 seats from the valley and subsequent gain by hill districts, the then Government had submitted the representation.

It had alleged that there would be serious law and order problems once the delimitation exercise is carried out, said ATRPFM seeking intervention of the President and conduct the delimitation based on the 2001 census.


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