Agartala, Jan 13 The Tripura High Court has asked the BJP-led state government and the election authority to hold the election to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) at the earliest, a court official said on Wednesday.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), a division bench of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Satya Gopal Chattopadhyay said: "We would expect the respondents (state government and State Election Commission) to complete the election process without any further waste of time, of course, subject to completion of statutory formalities and the mandatory period required to be granted for completing particular stages."
The five-year tenure of the TTAADC expired on May 17 last year and the state government promulgated Governor's rule by appointing a retired IAS officer as Administrator next day for a period of six months and then extending the term for another six months on November 17 last year.
The opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist, which had been governing the TTAADC until May 17, and the Congress strongly criticised the BJP government for not holding the polls in due time under the excuse of Covid-19 pandemic.
The CPI-M, which has substantial base among the tribals, and the Congress contended that when various elections, including Bihar Assembly polls, have been held in many states, why was the BJP government reluctant to hold these polls.
CPI-M's veteran tribal leader and former minister Jitendra Chowdhury and state Congress President Pijush Biswas had separately asked the government to immediately conduct the elections to the TTAADC, which in terms of political significance is next to the Tripura assembly.
The Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), the junior ally of the ruling BJP, has been agitating since 2009 for the creation of a separate state by upgrading the TTAADC, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of Tripura's 10,491 sq km area and home to over 12,16,000 people, 90 per cent of whom are tribals. The IPFT's demand, however, is strongly opposed by all the political major parties including the BJP, the CPI-M and the Congress.
The TTAADC was constituted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution in June 1985.
( With inputs from IANS )
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