People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXX

No. 21

May 21, 2006

TRIPURA

 

A Further Step In Decentralisation Of Democratic Power

 

SETTING a major milestone towards decentralisation of democratic power, the Left Front government has entrusted the newly elected village committees of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (ADC) with the task of implementing and supervising the various rural development projects of the centre as well as of the state government, henceforward over and above the ADCís own projects. This will pave the way for a perfectly peaceful, progressive and prosperous Tripura through proper manifestation of ethnic identity and upliftment of the backward tribals for comprehensive development of the state. Incidentally, in the first ever village committee vote in the 2005 ADC polls, the stateís ADC electorate overwhelmingly elected the CPI(M) candidates in 95 per cent of the seats with a view to furthering the isolation of the extremists of Tripura and ensuring peace and progress.

 

In a state government notification, the 527 village committees of the ADC have been entrusted with the same responsibilities and vested with the same power as the village panchayats under the Tripura Panchayat Act 1993. The total 527 panchayat secretaries working in the ADC areas shall perform their tasks and remain under the administrative control of the block development officers, district magistrate and the state government as before, will be now on deputation to the ADC, and be answerable to the peopleís representatives. Village committee chairperson henceforth will be on par with the village panchayat chiefs with respect to project implementation and supervision.

 

The Panchayat Minister Manik Dey stated that henceforth the ADC village committees shall enjoy the same power and prerogative as the village panchayats in all the spheres of comprehensive development including poverty alleviation programme, education, health and drinking water. The selection of sites and beneficiaries shall also be upto the village committees to carry out, in consonance with the government guidelines for the respective projects and in compliance of the instructions of the ADC administration.

 

Such empowerment of the ADC by the state government is in consonance with the CPI(M)ís movement demanding  the central government to make the necessary constitutional amendments towards further empowerment of the ADC. ADCs were formed in the early eighties by the Left Front government. They are the fruit of the decades long struggle of the tribals and nontribal people of Tripura for the safeguard of the long neglected and backward tribals who are rendered a miserable minority in their own homeland. Although the Left Front government had initiated the formation of ADC village committees very earlier against the face of limitation of its power, it was foiled for so long by the insurmountable obstacles posed by the stateís militants and their mentors, especially during the 1988-93 jungle rule of the Congress-TUJS coalition and following the year 2000 usurpation of the ADC by the Congress-INPT combine. At long last, Tripura is now all set to be the pioneer in the country in the realm of peopleís direct participation in all the projects for comprehensive development of the state.

 

Incidentally, it was the first Left Front government that conducted the first ever panchayat polls in Tripura by secret ballot ushering an unprecedented wave of rural development in the state.