Imphal, June 9 (ANI): The recent elections held to constitute the district councils in Manipur hill areas highlighted how much the local people yearn for peace and development in their State.
Despite a boycott call and a shutdown organised by various Naga groups, elections in Manipur hill areas were organised successfully after two decades.
Though a few untoward incidents were reported in the Naga-inhabited parts, the overall poll turnover was admirable.he Autonomous District elections were held in peace after a stalemate due to protests by some sections of the hill societies, especially the Naga tribes who seek amendments in the existing Autonomous District Council Act.he first phase of the two-phase election was carried out at Chandel, Churachandpur and Sadar Hill districts where the voters turned out in sizeable numbers.
"We feel happy that the ADC election has been conducted. However, the election was postponed for more than 20 years because of our demand for the Sixth Schedule. As for Kuki brethren, we welcome the election, but Nagas opposed it," said Sheikhomang Chongloi, a voter.
According to a source, for the initial phase, out of the 134 candidates running for the 39 seats, 33 have already been declared elected unopposed.
"In 2010, the State government took the decision to conduct ADC election and consequently they are holding this election. We hope that this time the District Council will be fully operative and I believe the public residing at the hills will be benefited up to some extent," said Paolun, anothder voter
The second phase of the poll was held in the Naga-dominated areas of Ukhrul, Senapati and Tamenglong districts with the participation of considerably fewer voters.
The Naga tribes have been imposing economic blockade since mid-April on National Highways 39 and 53 to oppose the election, and support the proposed visit of NSCN (IM) leader, Thuingaleng Muivah.
Security forces were deployed in sensitive areas to avoid untoward incidents.
People of the other Northeast states look for developmental benefits following the Autonomous District Council elections.
Recently, the tribals of Tripura enthusiastically voted during the sixth Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).
Similarly, people residing in the hill districts in Manipur, barring a few tribes, also hope for prosperity and development to bring Manipur on par with the other northeast states. (ANI)