No mention of separate scheme of administration for Hill Areas of Manipur in Article 371C: PAPPM reminds ATSUM

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Imphal: “The HAC (Hill Area Committee) recommended ADC Bill 2021 contradicts the larger interest of the state as a whole and the purpose of the bill is to facilitate the existence of a state within the state of Manipur leading to the balkanization of Manipur,” Peoples Alliance for Peace and Progress, Manipur (PAPPM) said.

President of the peoples alliance, M. Bobby Meitei in a press statement released on Wednesday said, while expressing solidarity with the demand to give more powers and autonomy to the existing Autonomous District Councils, PAPPM is seriously concerned with the politics of All Tribals’ Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) where they want creating of another state within the state leading to the balkanisation of Manipur by trying to force the HAC recommended ADC Bill 2021to the people of Manipur.

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“We would like to remind ATSUM that there is no mention of separate scheme of administration for Hill Areas of Manipur in the Article 371C of the Indian Constitution or the derivative Presidential Order of 1972.” Thus the first line in the introduction of proposed ADC Bill, 2021 which reads “Article 371C of the Constitution of India read with the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee Order, 1972 provides for a separate scheme for the administration of the hill areas in the State of Manipur through Hill Areas Committee and District Councils” is totally false and misleading, Bobby said.

“We also would also like to remind ATSUM that the proposed The Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Bill, 2021 is about giving more powers to Hill Areas Committee to convert itself to a separate scheme of administration as against the spirit of Article 371C which was inserted in 1971 to strengthen administration of hill areas whereby adequate voices through Hill Areas Committee is taken into account by the Manipur State Legislative Assembly.”

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The release said It is also worth reminding here that the Presidential order of 1972 clearly mentions that Hill Areas Committee in its functioning shall endeavour to, “promote unity between the people of the Hill Areas and other areas of the State by aiming at an integrated and evenly based economic growth of those areas and augment the resources of the state as a whole.”

So, the chief minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh is very much right to state that the HAC recommended ADC Bill 2021 is an ill-conceived bill with the intention of disintegrating Manipur.

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“We have been watching the communal politics of ATSUM for the last two years. We would advise ATSUM to stop playing communal politics and concentrate on issues for the welfare of the students instead of indulging in the politics of hate and division.” Manipur is very much different from 1971 and hill and valley people are more integrated and have already moved forward towards a more equitable society. Giving more powers and autonomy to ADCs is in the domain of legislators. Let the legislators perform their duties in the interest of whole people of Manipur which definitely includes the people in hills, Bobby said.

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