Despite open threats...ADC candidates refuse to budge
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 20, 2010: Despite the open threats issued by Tangkhul civil society bodies against contesting the ADC election and the total blockade imposed by AN-SAM since April 12 on the same issue, a number of intending candidates have refused to budge an inch and have pledged to stand their ground against the threats.

Interacting with the Sangai Express at a 'safe house' here in the capital.

ADC candidates for Ukhrul district constituencies expressed remorse that Tangkhul frontal organizations have taken such a harsh stand.

Stranded trucks on NH-39 due to the blockade against ADC poll

Noting that the ADC election has come after many years, the candidates also explained that the election process began at the recommendation of Hill Areas Committee of Manipur Legislative Assembly, with tribal MLAs being the Committee members.

Maintaining that candidates concerned are already part of the electoral process, having sought patronage of political parties they opined that, had the proclamation been made prior to the election process or deadline to withdraw candidacy the 'advice' would have been feasible.

Highlighting that since the ADCs have been lying defunct for the past 22 years, it had deprived people of the hill areas of many development schemes as DCs concerned, entrusted to execute welfare programmes could not fulfill aspirations of the common people, they expressed that BDOs were assigned additional task to implement Central sponsored schemes including NREGS.

It is also informed that as DCs could not implement welfare programmes in remote areas of the hill districts community participation in executing these schemes is inevitable.

Informing that Ukhrul district with 4454 square kilometre size has over 200 villages, a candidate expressed that joining the democratic process is to contribute his mite in ensuring the people reap fruits of development schemed by the Centre.

Another candidate opined that the Tangkhul frontal organisations should have castigated tribal ML As for recommending conduct of the ADC polls rather than target individual candidates.

His colleagues commented that as only four seats would witness keen contest for representatives of 20 seats had already been confirmed without contest the frontal bodies directive to withdraw at the eleventh hour lacks justification.

Conceding that power conferred to ADCs is very limited, they also pointed out that after revival of ADCs issues concerning demand for Sixth Schedule could be pursued more vigorously after formation of the ADCs.

Reminding that movement of local self governance in the valley districts is already evident, they also opined that opposition to ADC elections would mean loss for the tribal people apart from cautioning that the bodies' decision would create dissensions among sections of the Naga communities.