Imphal, April 30,2015: Manipur Election Commission Thursday has issued notification for elections to 144 seats of the six Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) across five hill districts, which would be conducted on June 1. As per the notification issued by secretary Th Chitra Devi of the state election commission, the last date for nominations for candidature is May 6. The scrutiny of nominations will be conducted on the next day (May 7) with the last date for withdrawal of candidatures May 11. Voting will take place between 7 am and 4.30 pm on June 1 and all process for election including counting will be completed on or before June 17, according to the notification.

There are six ADCs across the five hill districts, one each in Chandel, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Churachandpur and two in Senapati district including Sadar hills ADC.  The election is seen as an important rehearsal for the ruling Congress and the opposition parties for the Assembly election due in 2017. However, considering the current trends of electioneering of political parties, a strong three-corner contest among the ruling Congress, BJP and NPF (Naga People’s Front) is expected. The three parties have already gear up for the polls by holding political convention at various levels hill districts. Ahead of the poll scheduled, the BJP has claimed that the upcoming ADC election in five hill districts will give a political impact to the present situation of Manipur politics. The party is trying to woo the voters while asserting that the election will be the right opportunity for the hill people to look for a change in the Manipur political scenario under the People representative Act 1951 which can choose the people’s own leaders through election.

NPF’s Manipur unit is also understood to have been working hard to field candidates in all seats in Tamenglong, Ukhrul, Senapati and Chandel districts and more than half of the total seats in Churachandpur and Sadar Hills ADCs.  Even though, BJP and NPF are the partners of the ruling NDA government at the Centre, so far there was no sign of the two making alliance till date. In the meantime, state deputy chief minister Gaikhangam, who is also the president of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has blamed the NSCN (IM) for its alleged diktat on the coming ADC election.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Gaikhangam said, “All sitting ADC members are banned from contesting the election and fresh candidates are told not to contest the poll on Congress ticket.”

He said that such steps of the NSCN (IM) and its functionaries could incite violence in the Naga dominated districts of the state while adding that the state government was ready to face any threat imposed by them in the forthcoming ADC election.

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