ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unwillingness to Share Power

Manipur and the ADCs Bill, 2021

The confl ict about the proposed Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill in Manipur is a manifestation of the deep divide between the hills and the valley, and the exercise of political hegemony over the hill areas of the state. Beyond the melee, a close examination of the bill reveals the patriarchal and non-inclusive proposal made by legislatures from the hills.

The Manipur government has been at loggerheads with student unions of the hill areas of the state over autonomous district councils (ADCs) bill. A collective of 18 members of the legislative assembly from the hill areas of Manipur, including the chairperson of the Hill Areas Committee (HAC), drafted the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill, 2021 to be introduced in the 13th session of the 11th Manipur legislative assembly as a government bill on 20 August 2021. The HAC claims that despite several amendments to the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act, 1971, there are deficiencies which resulted in disproportionate development between the areas of the hills and valley of Manipur over the years. In order to address this imbalance, the proposed bill seeks to repeal and replace the 1971 act, and in order to provide more autonomy to the Hill Areas Committee and the Autonomous District Councils with regard to administration and management of Hill Areas of the State of Manipur.

Moreover, the bill intends to increase the number of constituencies of the ADCs to 31 from the current 24 members, out of which three members will be nominated, and one-fourth seats will be reserved for socio-economically backward and need-based geographical areas within the respective autonomous district.1 Furthermore, it also seeks to create a hill areas secretariat for managing and coordinating the working of ADCs, for reviewing and monitoring all projects and programmes undertaken, and to also coordinate and manage budgetary allocation to the hill areas of Manipur.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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