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Tripura poll panel issues guidelines for holding tribal village committee elections

The notification comes three weeks after the Tripura HC observed the polls were 'long overdue' as the tenure of the 587 village committees expired in March 2021.

Haryana, Haryana news, Haryana elections, Single-phase panchayat polls, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsThe delayed elections have become a major bone of contention between the ruling BJP and TIPRA Motha lately. (File)

Three weeks after the Tripura High Court issued an order “expecting” it to hold elections to 587 village committees in the Tripura Tribal Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), the State Election Commission on Tuesday issued guidelines to prepare electoral rolls for village committees.

All the block development officers of TTAADC areas were already appointed as electoral registration officers responsible for the preparation of the electoral rolls, a notification issued by commission secretary P Bhattacharjee said. The electoral roll revision is considered crucial for the village committee elections. As many as 7,68,561 voters registered for the last village committee polls while 8,65,041 voters registered during the TTAADC elections last year. With new voters and 21,000 fresh voters from Mizoram’s Bru migrants permanently resettled in the state waiting to be enrolled in ADC areas, the electoral rolls revision is even more significant.

The elections were deferred over the Covid pandemic though the tenure of the committees elected in 2016 during Left Front rule expired on March 7, 2021. An official under the governor’s supervision is now the administrator of the tribal council.

The delayed elections have become a major bone of contention between the ruling BJP and TIPRA Motha lately. Motha says the BJP is trying to defer the polls to buy time to make up for its lack of a footing in the tribal belt. The BJP, on the other hand, says it is ready for elections and accuses the tribal party of being a CPM front. The saffron party also accuses Motha of being unruly, attacking its workers and creating unrest in the hills.

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The TTAADC covers 70 per cent of the state’s geographical area but is distributed across almost all districts. It houses over 30 per cent of the state’s tribal population, hailing from 19 communities, and is locally administered through 587 village committees.

First published on: 03-08-2022 at 17:38 IST
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