IMPHAL: The All Tribal Rights’ Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) stated that it is saddened to see the attitude of the elected members of State Assembly from Scheduled Tribe reserved constituencies in matter pertaining to the delimitation issue.
In a press release signed by General Secretary of ATRPFM, it was stated that admittedly, these MLAs are the representatives of the tribal people and they are duty bound to carry out the wishes and safeguard the constitutional rights of the tribal communities and stand for the weaker section of the society as mandated under Article 82 read with Articles 170, 330, 332 etc. of the Constitution of India. But to all surprise, our MLAs have not shown any interest or concern in the matter which is so unfortunate, said the forum.
“The valley dominated politicians and their political parties along with valley based organisations have submitted objections to the concerned authorities, New Delhi and have also filed PlLs in the High Court of Manipur so as to obstruct the delimitation exercise with respect to the State of Manipur without any factual ground. But ministers and MLAs elected from the tribal reserved seats have not done anything till date which is highly condemnable by all the tribal communities,” the press release continued.
That, since the constitution of Delimitation Commission for the purpose of delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland by a Notification dated 06.03.2020, issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Govt. of India, ATRPFM has been earnestly pursuing the matter and have submitted representations to the President of India, Prime Minister, Chief Election Commissioner, Chairperson of the Delimitation Commission and also to the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner, New Delhi for smooth carrying out the delimitation exercise. Additionally, ATRPFM organised a consultative meeting at RNBA Centre Church, Tarung, Imphal West on June 30, 2020, with about 14 tribal organisations of different tribes of the State of Manipur. And in pursuant to the resolutions adopted in the said meeting, the ATRPFM stated that it had prepared a joint memorandum which is to be submitted to all the concerned authorities and where all the recognized tribes of Manipur shall be signatories through President/Secretaries of their respective tribal union/council.
Further, ATRPFM announced that it is ready to counter the PILs filed by valley based organisations and political parties which is pending in the High Court of Manipur. For this, we have sought the cooperation from the tribal representatives, however, none of them have shown any interest in the matter which is a great disappointment, the note mentionned.
According to the forum, the tribal ministers and MLAs shall not divert the subject on Covid-19 related excuses and avoid this issue which is a primary important. Instead of listening to the public and also giving cooperation, they should not just avoid meeting the tribal leaders in the name of Covid-19, ATRPFM said and appealed all the tribal elected members, leaders and organisations to kindly cooperate with each other so that “our constitutional rights are not suppressed by the advanced and majority communities”.
There is no Naga, Kuki or any tribe name, the same constitutional rights have been given to all the tribal communities of the State of Manipur and we have to safeguard those rights with integrity and in unity, the forum said soliciting for support from all ST communities.