MTFD welcomes proposed delimitation
IMPHAL, Jul 3: The Manipur Tribals Forum for Delimitation (MTFD) has welcomed the decision for conducting delimitation in Manipur.
In a statement, MTFD said that the fourth delimitation exercise to be carried out on the basis of the 2001 census was deferred in Manipur on the 'questionable' ground of law and order problems.
The deferment in effect meant the perpetuation of the unjust division of representation in the State Legislature and the House of the People, it said adding that since Statehood was given to Manipur in 1972, the tribal people inhabiting the hills of Manipur were deprived of their fair share in the division of seats to the legislature.
The tribal population constitutes more than 40% of the State population, but only 19 seats in a house of 60 were allotted by the Third Delimitation Commission of 1973. This was in direct violation of Article 332 of the Constitution of India, wherein a proportional representation of the Scheduled Tribe population is stipulated. Consequently, the Tribal population of Manipur looked forward to the Fourth Delimitation Commission to make amends for the injustice of the Third Commission, MTFD added.
Lamenting that opposing the effort of the Government of India to carry out the deferred delimitation exercise in the State is extremely distasteful, the forum said that the act does not inspire the cultivation of fraternal spirit necessary for sustaining the unity of the State.
Saying that when the delimitation was originally deferred by invoking the Presidential Ordinance of 2008, a faulty census was not cited as the main reason, MTFD opined that "faulty census" argument for the opposition to the delimitation in Manipur is just a red-herring meant to effectively deny the tribal people their just share of political representation.
MTFD then appealed to all rule-following individuals and justice-loving citizens of India to support the deferred delimitation exercise in Manipur based on the 2001 census.