With no announcement on polls in sight, Tripura Governor Ramesh Bais on Tuesday extended his administrative control over the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) for another six months.
Earlier on March 26, Tripura deferred general elections to the district council ‘indefinitely’. Tribal Welfare Director N Darlong, in a notification, cited the Covid-19 pandemic for postponing the polls. The cabinet had decided that the incumbent committee of TTAADC would be dissolved on May 17 and the Governor would hold charge till the next election.
However, with the Governor’s rule expiring yesterday, a notification from the Raj Bhawan said all functions and powers vested in and exercised by the TTAADC will be assumed by the gubernatorial head for six more months with effect from today. GK Rao was appointed as executive officer to implement all decisions on behalf of the Governor.
Reacting to the decision, former TTAADC Chief Executive Member (CEM) Radhacharan Debbarma said the decision to further delay district council polls is a premeditated plan of the state’s BJP-IPFT government.
“Democratic rights are being stolen across the state. This decision is just another reflection of that. A Constitutional body like the TTAADC has been robbed of its democratic rights. If polls can be held in Bodo Territorial Council of Assam and in Bihar, what’s wrong with conducting elections in the TTAADC?”, asked Radhacharan.
Radhacharan, who is also a senior CPI (M) leader, said his party has written to the state government earlier this month over holding elections at the earliest.
On October 23, the state’s ruling alliance partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) met BJP president JP Nadda in New Delhi and sought to contest in 22 out of 30 seats in the tribal council. The junior partner in the alliance with BJP was given 9 seats in 2018 to contest in elections to the 60-seat assembly.
State Congress vice president Tapas Dey said polls are being held elsewhere in the country even amid the pandemic. “BJP is trying to handle their internal feud with ally IPFT. They are trying to buy time for regaining lost grounds in the hills. So, they are trying to curb the district council’s autonomy and manage the situation by appointing an administrator,” Dey said.
BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya was not available to comment on the issue.
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