EC convenes meet, MPP says ADC polls violate Constitution
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 25 2010: Even as the State Government has placed its machineries in place for conduct of the District Council elections, the Opposition Manipur People's party (MPP) has described the forthcoming poll as violating the Constitutional provision for it has no reservation of women candidates.

Ahead of issuing notification for conduct of elections to the six Autonomous district council, a meeting chaired by the state Election Commission's Secretary Th Chitra was held today along with Returning Officers of the poll.

The meeting held at the Lamphelpat office of the Commission from 9 am was reportedly attended by ROs of Churachandpur, Sadar hills and Chandel districts.

It is informed that the meeting held after the state Cabinet's recent consent to go ahead with the democratic process, thoroughly discussed relevant issues with the ROs advised to make necessary preparations for the two-phased elections.

Mention may be made that the state Cabinet had set April 26 at the date for issuance of notification for the first phase while notification for the second phase is scheduled for May 3.The second phase polling would cover ADCs of Ukhrul, Senapati and Tamenglong districts.

On the other hand, MPP president Dr Nimaichand Luwang has questioned the validity of the proposed elections with the contention that it has no reservation for women candidates as had been envisioned by the Constitution for election to local bodies.

Addressing the gathering at a one day political conference of the regional political organisation at Thanga Chingyang today, as a preparatory campaign for the next Assembly elections scheduled for 2012, Dr Luwang questioned why the District Council election should not accommodate women candidates as had been reserved when local bodies' election was held.

He ridiculed the State Government's repeated assertion that the ADC polls would go ahead as scheduled even as the people had been enduring hardships from the onslaughts of strike and economic blockade enforced by several organisations opposed to the District Council elections.

describing as arrogant the Government's move to hold the polls rather than resolve the issue besieging the general public, the former Minister opined that going ahead with the ADC polls without consent of the public would backfire and bring embarrassment to the SPF Government.

Pointing out that inspite of assurances that the State Government employees would be entitled to sixth Pay scale without actual implementation, he also speculated that financial irregularities/indiscipline by the State Government might be a factor for the inability to ensure that the employees enjoy the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations in totality.

Dr Luwang also claimed that failure to resolve ceasework strike by Government employees is a reflection of failure of State administration.

Regarding the State Government's move to evict people settling on the floating biomass of Loktak Lake and alleged prohibition of fishing activities, he posed where would the people of Thanga and nearby villages who had been depending on the Lake for livelihood look for survival.

Demanding that the loktak Protection Act be scrapped and frame policy taking into account natural economic activities of the locals, he asserted that in case MPP forms a Government the Act would be amended in favour of the local population.

In his address, former MP Th Chaoba contended that lack of development activities in Thanga areas is a stark reality that Govt is neglecting it.

He appealed to the people to strengthen the hands of MPP for advancement of Thanga areas and its citizens.

The day long conference organisation by Thanga Kendra Committee of the MPP was also participated by several leaders and functionaries of one of the oldest political organisations of the region.