JONAI, Jan 20 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday assured holding of elections to the Mising Autonomous Council (MAC) without further delay. He informed that there was a legal hurdle to conduct the election, but it has already been removed.
The Chief Minister was speaking in the concluding session of 20th biennial conference of Mising Agom Kebang at Jonai. Gogoi said that a Gauhati High Court case had raised hurdles for holding elections to the Mising Council, and it has now been removed.
�I have instructed the state WPT&BC Minister Rajiv Lochan Pegu to initiate early elections to MAC. Our government is all set to conduct elections to other tribal councils in the coming days. We are giving attention to equal development of the tribal groups living in the state�, Gogoi said in his address.
The State Government�s delay in holding the MAC elections has drawn flak from several Mising organisations including TMPK, MMK, All Mising Senior Citizens� Association, All Guwahati Mising Kebang and Mising Autonomous Demand Committee (MADC). It was alleged that, in the absence of any council, funds meant for implementation of developmental programmes in the MAC area for the past three financial years had not been released.
Subsequently, the Gauhati High Court, following a writ petition filed against delay in holding election to the MAC, issued a notice to the State Government on January 4, 2011. The High Court had asked the State Government to reply by January 24 as to why elections to the Mising Autonomous Council have not been called and why, in the meanwhile, no interim council has been constituted.
It may be recalled that the Department of Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes had issued a notification on December 4, 2010, appointing SC Longmailai, the Commissioner of North Assam Division, as the administrator to run the council for a further period of six months or till elections to the council were held, whichever was earlier.