Chapter 8

Horticulture plantation reaches 35 pc of target
Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, July 4: Manipur has a potential area of about 2,77,064 hectare for development of horticulture, which constitutes about 12 percent of the total geographical area of the State. So far about 35 percent of the potential area is already under plantation of horticulture crops and the target for 2020 is its expansion to 80 percent.

Addressing the first day of the press conference series of government departments being organized by Department of Information and Public Relation at its office complex, additional director of Horticulture, AS Ningmei, said that of the total plan schemes fund for horticulture, only 15 percent is contributed by state while the rest 85 percent is supported by CSS and NEC.

LDA rejuvenates Loktak lake
Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, July 4 (DIPR): For overall improvement and development in the fields of fisheries, agricultures, tourism and afforestation of Loktak lake, the main tourist attraction of the state, the Government of Manipur constituted the Loktak Development Authority (LDA) in 1986.

Under the project ‘Conservation and Management of Loktak Lake’, major activities viz management of phumdis in the lake, improvement of drainage system, desiltation at the critical areas, construction of cross regulator, catchment area conservation, construction of sanitary toilets, biodiversity and enhancement of fish resources with the establishment of hatchery, operationalisation of hatcheries etc.

Pan-Naga body is a figment of imagination: Satyendra
The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 04 2016: Ministry of Home Affairs, Joint Secretary (North East in-charge) Satyendra Garg has categorically stated the speculation that establishment of a pan-Naga body would be the solution of the peace talk between the Government of India and NSCN-IM is some people's figment of imagination.

A seven-day training programme on commercial flori- culture was opened today at KVK Hengbung. The training programme organised by Foundation for Environment and Economic Development Services (FEEDS) is being participated by around 60 farmers. Speaking to media persons after the inaugural session of the training programme, Satyendra Garg stated that rumours and hearsays should not be taken as truths.

BJP, Uripok appeals
The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 04 2016: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Uripok Mandal has appealed to the Dis- trict Supply Officer (DSO), Imphal to distribute beneficiary cards of NFSA through related official/staff and not through MLA or Corporation. In a statement, the general secretary of BJP, Uripok Mandal Ch Nongthouba said that the distribution of ration cards by MLA or by their agents is a disturbing trend and improper in the light of the upcoming Assembly elec- tion in the early part of 2017 and is a political gimmick of some politicians with a popu- list agenda to gain political mileage.

PBCC clarifies
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 04 2016: Patsoi Block Congress Committee vice presi- dent Sadokpam Nongpoknganba has clarified that 19 persons who have recently joined BJP are not the members of Patsoi Block Congress Committee. Speaking to the media persons at Manipur Press Club, he said that none of them had enrolled in Patsoi Block Congress Committee.

He stated that the news item which appeared in the media regarding joining of some PBCC members to BJP was a dirty politics played by the BJP State unit to discredit PBCC and Patsoi AC MLA and Social Welfare Minister AK Mirabai. He said that those who had been recently feted by BJP unit were former ration and SK oil agents but not the members of PBCC. Their term as ration and SK oil agents had expired on March 31 with the implementation of NFSA. He also alleged that the agents had joined BJP in pursuance of their own benefits.

Dissidence in Congress
Editorial (by Irengbam Arun), Imphal Free Press
2 July 2016

Of late, the rising dissidence in the ruling Congress party has become the talk of the town. Okram Ibobi Singh has been in the hot seat for almost 15 years and this could become a factor in the coming 2017 assembly elections as it did in neighboring Assam. One needs to study the factors which led to the fall of Assam strongman Tarun Gogoi who was at the helm of power for three consecutive terms, i.e. fifteen years. He was a regional satrap and loyalist of the Gandhi family.

Of course, anti-incumbency was a major factor in Tarun Gogoi’s defeat. But the humiliating defeat at the hands of BJP was due to the exit of his onetime trusted lieutenant and master strategist Himanta Biswa Sharma who was not happy with Tarun Gogoi’s projection of his son Pradip Gogoi as a possible successor. The Gandhis were blind to the rising dissidence in the state Congress ranks and an upbeat BJP.

Coming back to Manipur, can Okram Ibobi withstand the anti-incumbency factor and the winds of change? Let us rehearse his 15 years in power. From a political stooge who backstabbed his benefactor and who went on to become an astute political player, his uninterrupted reign was in fact facilitated by a harsher anti-defection law and manipulative politics. It became simply impossible for an alternative or challenger to rise from the ranks within the party as he had the blessings of the Gandhi family and the party high command. It was only after the Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarkhand episodes, that the party high command had lent their ears to the state dissidents which led to change in organizational leadership and a minor reshuffle of the ministry.

However, the changes had not been able to mend the deep fissures in the party. Instead, it led to a division in the dissident ranks. Perhaps, this led to an official rebuke of the party government from the party spokesperson Nongthombam Biren, a leading dissident. He had openly criticized the Okram Ibobi led Congress government for knee-jerk reactions to problems facing the state instead of seeking sustainable solutions. Add to that, the recent visit of BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and NEDA Convenor Himanta Biswa Sharma who allegedly met some MLAs including Congress dissidents. Reports of 28 Congress dissidents including 2 ministers wanting to switch camps to BJP have surfaced after the visit.

There is no doubt that Manipur is BJP’s next target in the northeast after Assam. But the question is who is going to be Manipur’s Himanta Biswa Sharma? The BJP stands to gain from dissidence in the Congress party. But, first it has to put its house in order.

17 new faces inducted in Modi Govt
The Sangai Express / PTI

New Delhi, July 05 2016: 17 new faces including BJP leaders S S Ahluwalia, and M J Akbar and allies Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal and Ramdas Athawale of RPI were today inducted along with two old hands Vijay Goel and Faggan Kulaste into the Modi govern-ment in expansion and re- shuffle in which five were dropped and Environment Minister Prakash Javedekar was elevated to the Cabinet. The second exercise by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in little more than two years since he took over in May 2014 saw a number a dalit and OBC leaders being given ministerial positions done apparently with an eye on assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand next year and Gujarat later.

16 new office bearers of BJP inducted
Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Jul 8: Four vice-presidents were among 16 new office bearers of the BJP, Manipur Pradesh whose appointment were announced today. According to a press release issued by state party chief K Bhabananda, M Hemanta Singh, V Hangkhalian (ST), M Asnikumar (SC), and Adim Pamei (ST) had been appointed as vice-presidents of the BJP Manipur Pradesh. On the other hand, Thongju MLA Th Bishwajit and N Nimbus will function in the posts of general secretaries while Robin Blackie was retained as the treasurer.

CM admits Cong losing some ground
Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, July 8: Speaking in retrospection of the party’s performances at the recent Imphal Municipal Corporation elections, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi has admitted that after almost 15 years of ruling the state anti-incumbency factors may be finally catching up with the Congress party and registering a victory at the 2017 Assembly election could turn out to be harder than expected. The chief minister was speaking at the official reception of newly elected Congress councillors and members of ward development committee held at Congress Bhavan today. 

RK Anand let his constituency down, claims BJP leader
Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, July 8: Developmental works in Naoriya Pakhanglakpa Assembly constituency initiated by local MLA RK Anand have failed and the public are the witnesses, said O Malesh state secretary of BJP. Briefing media, Oinam Malesh said one of the developmental project, the Phuramakhong water supply reservoir, was found accountable of not maintaining proper quality control during construction. The water supply was constructed under proper planning and policy programme for provision of tap water for half of the people in the constituency, he said.

SFs cannot use excessive force in AFSPA areas: SC
The Sangai Express / The Hindu

Imphal, July 08 2016 : Serving a blow to immunity enjoyed by armed forces under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) against criminal action for acts committed in disturbed areas, the Supreme Court on Friday held that armed forces personnel and police cannot use "excessive or retaliatory force" in disturbed areas.

A Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and RK Agarwal upheld the highest constitutional court's power to entertain and deliver justice under Article 32 of the Constitution in a plea made by the families of civilians killed in over 1,528 cases of alleged fake encounters involving the army and the police force in Manipur.

In a judgment, which will have ramifications in sensitive border areas across the country, the apex Court held that the allegations of fake encounters in Manipur by the Army and the Manipur Police should be "thoroughly enquired into." It stressed that security forces cannot use excessive force and then claim immunity from criminal action.

Rs 60 cr approved
The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 08 2016 : The Expert Committee constituted under the Ministry of Urban Development has given approval for sanctioning Rs 60 crore for works including augmentation of drinking water distribution network in Imphal.

According to an official source, the sanction approval was given by the Committee under phase II of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) in its meeting held today at New Delhi with Urban Development Secretary in the chair.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Dept of Expenditure, Dept of Economic Affairs, NITI Aayog, Dept of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Dept of Environment and Forest and National Institute of Urban Affairs and Town and Country Planning Organisation.

Manipur was represented in the meeting by Commissioner, MAHUD RK Dinesh, Director of MAHUD and Mission Director of AMRUT N Geetkumar and Chief Engineer of PHED H Sunil.

All party meeting on Bill today
The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 08 2016: In connection with the State Government's initiative to draft a new Bill for protection of indigenous people of the land, another round of meeting of all political parties has been convened at 9 am tomorrow. The meeting which would be held at the Chief Minister's conference hall would be presided by the Chief Minister and it would discuss about drafting a new Bill ahead of the forthcoming session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly.

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