Tribals demand seat quota for women in ADCs

Imphal, December 16 : Even though 33% reservation of seats for women in the Panchayati Raj Institutions and Local Bodies has been implemented across the country, the same is provided in the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act 1971 which was amended in 2008 .

The Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act 1971 amended in 2008 came into force with effect from May 12, 2008 without any reservation of seats for women.

"It is indeed tantamount to violation of Constitution provisions and amount to deprivation of rights of the women" observed BD Behring, chairman of the Tribal Rights Protection Movement (TRPM), Manipur, an apex body of several tribal bodies in Manipur today.

The Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act 1971 was enacted parliament for establishement of District Councils when Manipur granted statehood.

It aimed at empowerment and administration of the hill areas of the state at the grass root level.

There are altogether 156 seats including 24 MDCs elected from each autonomous district council and two each MDCs to be nominated by government.

Not a single seat reserved for women which the elections to the council are due for the last two decades.

TRPM, Manipur has learned that after 24 years of deep slumber the election to the councils is likely to be held at the earliest.

Putting this information, a memorandum was submitted to the Manipur Governor today for reserving seats for the women, the chairman informed at a press briefing held here in Imphal.

While submitting the memorandum, state Governor Gurbachan Jagat assured the representatives of TRPM that he would look into the matter with immediate effect, he claimed.

Another separate memorandum drawing the attention of the Governor on the release of pays and allowances, pensions pay and other bills pending with the government before December 20 considering for the Christmas was also submitted.

The TRPM demanded regular water-supply during the Christmas 2009 and New Year 2010, making of facilities of PDS available before the celebration of festival, control of price hike of essential commodities for the Christmas and New Year 2010 and maintenance of law and order during the festival.