The uncertainty clouded over the TTAADC (Tripura Tribal Autonomous District Council) due to the COVID pandemic and the subsequent lockdown had already paved the way for the political forces to begin their activities centering the issue.
Although, the appointment of a governor nominated administrators for the council was a constitutional move instead of extending term of the existing council, the opposition parties have already started finding lapses in the decision and sought a review. On the other hand, the IPFT seemed more interested in the zonal and sub-zonal units of the council.
Among the political parties, the Left, which has only lost its last bastion of ADC maintained a conspicuous silence on the government’s decision and took a mild tone. In his reaction, the CPIM state secretary only asked the government to hold the polls as early as possible in order to maintain the decorum of the democratic institution and seemed reluctant to speak anything more.
On the other hand, the INPT and Congress had sought to chalk out alternative ways to run the council in the absence of elected power. Speaking exclusively to this reporter, INPT General Secretary and second-in-command Jagadish Debbarma said, “The COVID pandemic and the lockdown have resulted in a crisis situation in the ADC. The governor has, as per the constitution, appointed an administrator. But, in this situation, our party would like to suggest that since this is a unique situation and for the first time such kind of situation has emerged, the government should also think of alternative steps. Since, we feel there is no possibility of elections in the coming six months in view of the constantly increasing Covid 19 cases, the government and the governor must explore alternative ways”.
The veteran tribal leader also feared that this might cause massive conflict between the elected representatives and new bureaucratic rule. ‘There are not less than 588 elected village committees under the ADC. And, it can be presumed that if a bureaucratic rule continues in the ADC for a long period there are every possibility of a conflict among the elected members and the officials”, Debbarma pointed out.
Congress leader Rajeshwar Debbarma, however, alleged that the governor’s decision to appoint an administrator with even consulting the active political parties of the state was an attempt to offer upper hand to BJP-IPFT.
“The governor and the government should have discussed with all the political parties of the state before taking a strong decision. The sudden decision will surely impact the polls whenever it takes place and BJP-IPFT can have an extra edge over other contesting parties”, said Rajeshwar. He demanded an all-party commission to run the ADC for its smooth and swift functioning.
On being asked for a reaction, IPFT General Secretary and Forest Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia said, their part has welcomed the decision. “We have welcomed the decision. Now in the next step, both the ruling parties should sit down together and settle the issue of zonal and sub-zonal regions. There should be a committee to monitor the small units of the council”, he suggested.
BJP Janajati Morcha chief and MP Rebati Kumar Tripura, in his reaction, said, “The BJP has a new plan for the ADC. The Left parties failed in protecting the interest of tribal people. Since the beginning, the BJP spearheaded the agenda of presenting ADC in a new face. The new administrator appointed by the governor shall surely continue working in the interest of people until the polls take place”.
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