Updated: September 6, 2021 10:39:51 pm
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday said the BJP-led state government will ensure that special provisions under Article 371C for hill areas will not be affected under any circumstances.
The chief minister’s statement comes in the wake of the controversy surrounding the induction of eight MLAs from valley areas as members of the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) by an order of the Manipur Assembly Speaker.
“Article 371C is entirely a parliamentary matter. Not a single point under the Article will be affected as it is the duty of the elected representatives to protect and uphold the spirit of the Constitution of India,” said Singh.
The CM also urged the people not to fall prey to false propaganda which aims to disturb the unity and integrity of the state.
The order issued by the Manipur Speaker on September 1 said the induction of the MLAs was necessitated following the request by the legislators citing “various grounds”. The order also cited the “Presidential order of 1972, Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Order, 1976” as the basis for the induction.
The order, however, was kept in abeyance by the Speaker three days later amid the growing clamour from the tribal communities.
Many tribal bodies, including the HAC, have called the order “unconstitutional”, and demanded it should be revoked.
The All Tribal Student’s Union Manipur (ATSUM), All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) and Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) have threatened to launch an intense agitation if the state fails to revoke the order.
Article 371C of the Constitution provides separate schemes for the administration of the hill areas in Manipur through HAC and district councils.
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