Chapter 17

“None of the 48 Cong MLAs will leave party”

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | September 4

The propaganda of congress MLA to leave party is totally wrong as none of the congress MLA will leave the party, said Nambol MLA Nameirakpam Loken. Speaking at a reception function of about 219 households of Nambol Constiteuncy once hard workers of Th Chaoba who joined the Indian National Congress under N Loken held at Congress Block Congress Committee Office, he said that the propaganda of BJP is not correct.

He further observed that as the BJP is doubtful of its ticket aspirants winning elections they are hoping to rope in deserters from the Congress with the dream of forming the next government. So the people of Nambol Constituency shouldn’t believe in the falsehoods of BJP, he added.

Loken further said, in his political career such large-scale desertion from Th Chaoba has never occured. The people of Nambol constituency used to be sharply divided between him and Th Chaoba. The households who joined INC today were his hard workers since 1972. In the function NBCC President and other congress leaders of block were also present.

CPI will bring a formidable force to fight Congress and BJP: Dr M Nara

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | September 4

Communist Party of India (CPI) is planning to cobble together an alliance to effectively challenge both the Congress and the BJP in the coming Manipur assembly elections, according to State Secretary CPI Dr Moirangthem Nara. In an exclusive interaction with IFP, Dr Nara said that in the upcoming Manipur Legislative Assembly elections the left and secular democratic front will be able to usher in a dramatic change in state political scenario.

He said, we know present electoral politics is a complicated process. But the political strength of a party is not determined alone by the number of candidates the party sponsors. He further said, it is little early to comment on the shape of political representation in the coming elections. But, CPI has plans to form a left and democratic alliance taking Kerala as an example.

Nara said that Congress and BJP-NPF will try to float candidates in all the 60 seats both in the hills and the valley. But, the CPI led alliance would float candidates who are people oriented. The proposed Left and Secular Democratic Front will organise in a big political convention for which strategy has already chalked out by CPI, said M Nara.

He observed that both Congress and BJP seeks to gain from a chaotic situation in the state. Our politics is at the grassroots level and at all times we try to adopt a people friendly political culture. Dr M Nara expressed appreciation for the campaign initiated by senior citizens for a free and fair election.

CAG report unearths fund misuse in ITIs

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL |  September 4

 Mismanagement and fund leakage have plagued the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) under the state Department of Labour and Employment, which are supposed to ensure steady flow of skilled workers in different industrial trades so as to help encourage self employment and reduce the unemployment burden on the state government.

Citing lack of systematic and professional approach in functioning of Industrial Training Institutes in the state, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s Report ending March 2015 pointed out lack of infrastructure like tools and equipment, buildings, classrooms and hostels, and basic amenities such as water supply and toilets in these academic institutions. Decreasing trend of enrolment, increasing drop-outs, non-affiliation of trades to National Council of Vocational Training (NCVT), and after all financial mismanagement have been reflected in the CAG Report.

A total receipt of Rs. 29.64 lakh during 2010-15 at the 11 ITIs were not recorded in departmental cash books, while a sum of Rs. 12.12 Lakh drawn from bank account of ITI Imphal west during April 2010-March 2015 was also not reflected in cash books and any vouchers or bills not available. The CAG Report hence indicted the department with charges of misappropriation of an amount of Rs. 41.76 lakhs during the period.

The Principal of ITI Takyelpat had incurred an expenditure of Rs. 23.82 lakhs in purchase of various items for upgradation of the institute under Vocational Training Institutional programme before obtaining administrative approval and expenditure sanction, charged the Audit Report. Sanctions for purchases amounting to Rs. 23.51 lakhs were also split up apparently to avoid approval by competent authority, and related purchase files, tender documents, supply orders and stock registers could not be produced during the auditing, said the CAG document.

An amount of Rs. 88.20 lakhs meant for salaries of principals of five ITI was spent wastefully, as the services of these principals were never available at the said institutes. They were appointed in 2003 on contract basis for the newly established ITI of Phaknung, Tamenglong, Kakching, Ningthoukhong and Komlathabi. As their services were never utilized, the charges have been held by instructors till date. Test Audit of CAG confirmed that they have been drawing salaries at the rate of Rs. 14,700 per month since 2003.

Constructions of classrooms and workshops in 3 institutes (Takyel, Kakching and Saikot), hostels in 5 institutes (Takyel, Komlathabi, Tamenglong, Phaknung, Ningthoukhong), compound walls in 7 institutes (Takyel, Komlathabi, Tamenglong, Phaknung, Senapati, Ningthoukhong and Ukhrul) with a total cost of 6.40 Crore have not been completed even after expiry of datelines for completion.

According to the Report, Jiribam and Tamenglong ITIs have no building of their own, while Kakching, Saikot, Jiribam and Tamenglong institutes have no compound wall.

Under the Craftsmen Training Scheme launched by Government of India in 1950, the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) were established in states and union territories for imparting training to less privileged, poor and downtrodden school leaving youths. The administration of ITIs was transferred to state governments in 1956.

Now, Manipur state has 11 institutes with an intake capacity of 1640 seats, however the enrolment rate in these institutes has drastically decreased from 1144 in 2010 to 964 in 2015. As against the plan for setting up of ITIs in Lilong and Sekmai during 11th Five year plan (2007-12), no such institute has been established in these locations.

Noticing appointment of only one regular principal of ITI, the Report said remaining 10 institutes have been manned by principals in-charge for the last one decade. Moreover, there are shortages of technical instructors, which hamper the production of quality trainees.

Budgetary allocation for ITIs in Manipur was 674.05 Lakhs, which could not be fully utilised during the year 2014-15. Rush of funds during the month of March against the financial norms have been detected by the CAG audit with the figure standing at 64.86 percent of annual budget for 2013-14 spent in the month of March 2014.

BJP ticket aspirants start poll campaign

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | September 4

Aspiring candidates of BJP in Naoriya Pakhanglapka, Lamlai and Langthabal assembly constituencies kicked off their election campaigns for the upcoming 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly polls today at their respective premises.

Election campaign of State BJP executive member, Dr Soraisem Manaoton who will be contesting in the ensuing 11th State Assembly Election from Naoriya Pakhanglakpa Assembly constituency started with a rally set out from Hiyangthang and passed through Langthabal Phura Makhong and Ningombam before ending at Mekola. 

Thousands of supporters took part in the rally which was jointly organized by Naoriya Pakhanglakpa Development Committee, Election Committee and Youths United Mutual Bond Initiative (YUMBI). Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the rally, Manaoton said that his aim as a representative is to reform Naoriya Pakhanglakpa Assembly Constituency and work for the welfare of its denizens.

He alleged that sitting MLA RK Anand only focused on individual development programmes instead of giving emphasis on the welfare of the constituency. He contended that poor families of the constituency are deprived of old age pension scheme and other benefits due to the negligence of the MLA. People of the constituency are not satisfied with the work programmes taken up by him. The MLA never turned up whenever any complaint arises regarding development works, he said.

Many people have complained that Naoriya Pakhanglakpa has been reduced to a deplorable constituency when it comes to development works, Manaoton mentioned. He also said that the people have selected him as a representative to bring transparency in developmental works and uplift poor people of the constituency. Manaoton assured that he will bring all round development in Naoriya Pakhanglakpa A/C if becomes MLA.

Meanwhile, President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Manipur Pradesh Pukhrambam Somojit has also begun his election campaign. He will be contesting in the election from Langthabal Assembly Constituency. In connection with the campaign, a rally was taken out in and around ward no1 of the constituency.

Curfew imposed within 1 km radius of Assembly
Govt plans to foil protest rallies of both BJP and JCILPS

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | September 4

The District Magistrate Imphal West district has imposed prohibition on the movement of any persons in all the areas located within a one kilometer radius around the Manipur Legislative Assembly Complex tomorrow until the Assembly session is over.

An order issued by the Magistrate said that the order has been imposed under sub section (2) of section 144, CrPC 1973 and that any residing in the one kilometer radius around the Manipur Legislative is prohibited to move around till 3pm tomorrow or until the session is over. After Assam, BJP sets eyes on

Manipur Amit Shah to meet State workers on Sept 15

The Sangai Express / Economic Times

Guwahati, September 06 2016: BJP president Amit Shah has started working on a detailed strategy for Manipur polls slated for early next year, where his party is confident of repeating its spectacular performance of Assam. Shah is set to interact with party workers on September 15, when he will sound his party's poll bugle.The party has appointed Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar in charge of the Manipur polls.

BJP functionary Prahlad Singh Patel told ET, "Shah will interact with booth level workers on September 15 . "The party made inroads in the civic polls to Imphal Municipal Corporation, winning 10 out of 27 seats, with the ruling Congress winning 12.In 2011, BJP could win only 1 seat, when the Congress won 13" . BJP has set up strong organisational base in Manipur and a platform of non-Congress parties called the North East Democratic Alliance (Neda).

Key leaders are expected to campaign for BJP. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Neda convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma are among the top campaigners expected to tour the State soon. BJP is enthused by the response it has received for the agitations."The turnout and participation of BJP workers proves that we are gaining ground and we will come to power in the State," a party insider said.
At present, BJP has two MLAs in the 60-member Assembly.

BJP VP Hemanta slams govt over jumbo size appointments in Manipur Assembly

Imphal Times

Thoubal, September 01 2016: Alleging that the congress government has wasted a huge money from the state exchequer through unnecessary appointments in Manipur Legislative assembly secretariat, BJP Manipur Pradesh Vice President, Ex Minister Moirangthem Hemanta said that more than 500 employees have been appointed unnecessarily in the 60 member Manipur Legislative assembly secretariat while the counterpart Maghalaya and Tripura Legislative assemblies having only 300 and 250 staffs respectively.

"Even the 289 member Maharastra Legislative assembly have only 750 staffs while 294 member Andra Pradesh Assembly functioning with only 294 staffs. Now the government has issued notifications for recruitments for many departments to gain their political mileage on the ven of election", charged the BJP leader. Ex Minister Moirangthem Hemanta also lambasted the chief minister Ibobi led government for holding the monsoon session of Manipur Legislative Assembly for only two days.

Several malpractices, corruption, discrepancies in job recruitment have been witnessed during the 14 years old congress regime in Manipur. Now congress is afraid if the opposition BJP would expose their misdeeds. Hence the assembly session was concluded within two days, said Ex Minister Moirangthem Hemanta during a day long BJP political conference at Phundrei Thoubal district.

Hemanta further said that holding of assembly session for only two days is not practiced in any state of the country except Manipur. The congress government supported by 47 MLAs in 60 members Manipur Legislative assembly is cowardly enough even to face the two opposition BJP MLAs, he added.

Hiyanglam BJP Mandal resolves to support either M Dhanbir or L Ashokumar

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, September 6: The BJP Hiyanglam Mandal has vowed to support either M Dhanabir or L Ashokumar, who had earlier contested in the assembly elections on BJP ticket, during the upcoming Manipur Legislative Assembly Election.

This was decided during the one-day political conference of BJP Hiyanglam Mandal held today at the residence of L Ashokumar at Langmeidong Maning Leikai. The political conference was attended by over 500 supporters of BJP. Dhanabir was a candidate in the last by-election to the Hiyanglam assembly seat, while Ashokumar contested in the general election in 2012.

The meeting also discussed the matter related to grievances including the financial problem facing the people of the constituency. The BJP leaders highlighted that the congress party particularly in Hiyanglam Constituency misused the public funds and misled the people.

The meeting resolved to bring out a BJP representative from Hiyanglam Constituency for the new Manipur government. And the BJP workers decided to sponsor one of the candidates between Maibam Dhanabir and L Ashokumar for the upcoming general election.

The people of Hiyanglam have also endorsed support to the BJP candidate who gets party ticket in the election for a new Hiyanglam.

Public feast turns into free for all fight among political supporters

The Imphal Free Press

THOUBAL | September 7: With elections approaching fast, cases of altercations and fights among supporters of different political parties and intending candidates have increased.

In what could be reported as election related violence, a clash broke out between supporters of Wangkhem MLA K Meghachandra who is also the parliamentary secretary of IPR and intending candidate of the Assembly constituency Y Nabachandra in Thoubal Haokha today.

According to information culled from the incident site, a public feast was arranged at the residence of Tensubam Mohon at Thoubal Haokha Maning Leikai which was attended by supporters of Meghachandra. It is learnt that around noon, some supporters of Nabachandra arrived and alleged that the feast was organized by supporters of Meghachandra with the design to create division among the locals.

Asserting that simply campaigning for election is fine, but boozing is not allowed, they interrupted the feast which resulted in a free for all fight. However, timely arrival of a police team managed to contain the fight, according to locals. Later, at around 4pm, MLA Meghachandra attended a public meeting at Thoubal Haokha heibi Makhong Lampak. The meeting, however, ended as another commotion occurred between supporters of Nabachandra and the MLA.

A team of Thoubal police commandos arrived and bring the situation under. Meanwhile, it is also learnt that locals of Phoudel stoned MLA Meghachandra’s residence around 2pm against the erection of HT Line passing through Phoudel Village.

BJP, Cong and NPF in the hill dists Where is the MPP ?

The Sangai Express editorial
Sep 08, 2016

Assembly election is still some time away but the BJP has already set the ball rolling. Not letting any single opportunity to land a blow or two on the State Government go by and ironic it is but it is the Congress Government itself which offered the perfect opportunity in deciding to scrap the DPC held in 2013 to recruit police Constables. What happened after the Government announced that the said DPC has been scrapped and a fresh DPC would be held, is there for all to see. The BJP may be seen to have sided with the 10,000 odd candidates who appeared for the 2013 DPC but in reality it was delivering a powerful political statement which has all the potential to impact on the upcoming polls. The Congress obviously has no one to blame but its own ineptness and maybe being in power for the third consecutive term has dulled its political astuteness. Obviously the BJP is on a high at the moment and it is to seize this opportunity that BJP National president Amit Shah has set a date with Manipur on September 15 when he is scheduled to meet party workers here. This is certain to give a boost to the BJP while it will hurt the interest of the Congress. While it would be foolhardy to read the election tea leaves at the moment, one thing that can be said with a degree of certainty is the point that the Congress will not do as well as in the 2012 Assembly election.

The fight will primarily be between the Congress and the BJP here, but there will be some other significant players at the hustings. In the Naga dominated hill districts of the State, the Naga People’s Front will have a big say and given that it is part of the BJP led NDA Government at the Centre, it may just about strike some sort of an understanding with the BJP here too. This is despite the earlier assertion of Himanta Biswa Sarma that the BJP will have no truck with other political parties at the hustings. So BJP, Congress and the NPF in the hills, especially in the Naga dominated districts and it is these political parties which will draw the attention of the people. Two National parties and one regional political party with its headquarters at Kohima, and the natural question that may be asked, is what has happened to the Manipur People’s Party ? The decline of the MPP has been gradual and from a party which once was the biggest challenge to the Congress, today, the MPP is nowhere there in sight, failing to send even one single MLA in the last Assembly election. Nothing to suggest that it will improve in the next Assembly election and today it has come to be identified as solely the party which has its head office behind the historic Mapal Kangjeibung.

Sign of cracks in ruling Congress
Yumkham Irabot set to leave party to join BJP

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | September 9

In what could prove a fissure in the Okram Ibobi Singh led Congress government’s armour ahead of next year’s state Assembly election, veteran politician MLA Yumkham Irabot is likely to leave the party soon, if insider sources are to be believed. Although not confirmed from the MLA himself, sources revealed that owing to strong pressure from his workers and supporters, the MLA has decided to listen to them and leave the party.

The sources said Irabot’s workers and supporters from Wangkhei Assembly constituency have been demanding the MLA to resign from the Congress and join another party. They had even fixed September 10 as deadline for the MLA to announce his decision, with the warning that they will ditch him and join another party if he is unable to meet their demand by the deadline, the sources said.

A huge crowd of supporters had gathered at the MLA’s residence since early this morning discussing the present political situation and waiting for their leader’s reply to their demand. The supporters met the MLA today and the MLA assured to listen to their appeal, informed the sources. It is learnt that supporters have been urging their MLA to resign from the Congress party since the chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh did not treat him as the representative of the constituency.

The supporters contended that for the past many years, Irabot has not been treated like an MLA of the ruling party by the government, informed the source. Meanwhile, getting information of the development, a team of media persons rushed to the MLA’s Khurai residence in the evening but the team could not meet the MLA as he was reportedly indisposed. On enquiry, the workers neither denied nor confirmed the MLA’s decision to leave the Congress, but said they have adopted some resolutions to bring a new government in the state.

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