Create ADCs first ultimatum
Why at this point of time ?
The All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) must be confused. So too the people, particularly the hill people. Definitely not an enviable position for the Government to find itself in. So even as the State Government has assured ATSUM that a Cabinet decision on holding elections to the ADCs will be taken by March 31, the Demand Committee on Creation of Autonomous District Councils (DCCADs) has set March 25 as the deadline for the State Government to create ADCs for the newly created districts of Pherzawl, Kamjong, Noney and Tengnoupal with the rider that elections to the ADCs should be held only after the ADCs are created for the said four hill districts. This is in direct contrast to the demand pursued by ATSUM and if things are not handled well, then the ADC election issue could well boil down to a face off between the DCCADs and ATSUM. Such a development is highly probable and the politics of holding elections to the ADCs or the politics of creating new ADCs seems to have certainly lived up to all the murky world that is generally associated with the term ‘politics’. Take note, the four new districts were created late in 2016 and the BJP led Government came to power in the early part of 2017. The interesting question is, what was the DCCADs doing during the four years interregnum ? Why is the ADC demand for the newly created districts being raised now, more particularly when the State Government has already given the assurance that a Cabinet decision will be taken on the matter by March 31 ? These are all questions at the moment and while there may be no answer at the moment, the very fact that such a demand has been raised at this point of time must have raised many eye brows. If it was such a matter of concern, then why weren’t this point raised earlier is the natural question that follows.
With the State set to go for the Assembly elections in the early part of next year, the ADC elections can reflect on where the different political parties stand at the grassroots level in the hill districts. In the Naga dominated districts, the ADC elections could be more of a straight fight between the Naga People’s Front and the BJP while in the Kuki dominated district it could be the BJP and some other political parties, such as the NPP and the Congress. The ADC elections could give a rough idea on how well placed are some of these political parties at the grassroot level in the hill districts. To the ATSUM such analysis would be of no importance as their call is to ensure democracy at the grassroot level and not which political party is well placed. The interesting question is, why has it taken the pressure tactics of ATSUM to bring the Government to the idea that elections to the ADCs is long over due ? This is a question which only the Government can answer but it is important that the election is held on time. Likewise the the Government too should work towards setting up ADCs in the four newly created districts. This is the bottomline, but at the same time the question why this demand has been raised at such a pitch at this point of time is rather interesting. Interesting it is but does it really serve the intended purpose of taking democracy to the grassroot level ? The answer is something which only the people can understand but the ultimatum set by the DCCADs must have come something like a googly to the Government and ATSUM too.