Chapter 18

BJP Hiyanglam president refutes allegations

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | September 10

BJP Hiyanglam Mandal president Thoudam Hemanta has refuted allegations made against him by the Election Committee Langmeidong of Hiyanglam Assembly constituency. A statement of the president said it is unfortunate that allegations have been made to show him in a bad light.

On the other hand, secretary of Hiyanglam Kendra Women’s Development Committee Elangbam Mikhubi Devi has endorse support to Maibam Dhanabir for the upcoming Manipur Legislative Assembly Election 2017 said a press release of the committee. It said that the committee is constituted by more than 700 women members and will support Maibam Dhanabir for Hiyanglam BJP Mandal.  

Borobabu welcomes Wangkhei MLA’s decision

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL| September 10

Reports of Wangkhei Assembly constituency MLA Yumkham Erabot’s decision to leave the Congress and join the BJP seem to have ruffled feathers especially of those who will be directly affected by the new political development ahead of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election expected to be held early next year.

Reacting to the report, former speaker of the state Assembly and BJP leader Haobam Borobabu said the senior Congressman’s decision is a clear indication of the downfall of the Congress in the state. Borobabu was addressing a press conference at his residence at Khurai Ahongei today.

He welcomed Erabot’s decision and said ultimately, the BJP will definitely overthrow the Congress. However, to join the BJP, one has to fulfill certain criteria, he said, and asserted that the person should be sane and have no criminal records. He must also cut off all links with his earlier party, Borobabu observed. But it is not the time to criticize one another, it is the time to work unitedly to strengthen the BJP, he said.

At this moment, it would be better if everyone refrains from making any personal opinion regarding party tickets for the upcoming Assembly election, he said, and added that the party will decide on the right candidate who would be best for the party.

He continued conflicts among aspirants during distribution of party ticket happen everywhere. He added the central leaders are deliberating on the party’s chief ministerial candidate and will announce a name when the right time comes. He said the BJP national president Amit Shah is arriving in the state on September 14 to attend a convention.

BJP welcomes Erabot into party fold

Imphal Free Press

Former speaker and BJP core committee member Borobabu conspicuously absent during reception

IMPHAL | September 12

A five-time minister in the state cabinet and a six-time MLA from Wangkhei Assembly constituency Yumkham Erabot officially joined the BJP today, after tendering his resignation from both the Congress party and the MLA seat of the constituency. The BJP organised a grand reception for the veteran politician and long time MLA at its office.

Erabot, who was known more for his opposition to the Congress state leadership than support for the party during Assembly sessions in the last many years, tendered his resignation from the primary membership of Congress to the party president and as MLA of Wangkhei A/C before the speaker through the Secretary of Manipur Legislative Assembly this morning. However, it is learnt that the speaker has kept on hold Eroabot’s resignation from the MLA seat.

While the welcome team of the BJP led by president K Bhabananda included the likes of State Election Management Committee BJP Manipur chairman and former president of the party Th Chaoba, Thangmeiband MLA and legislative wing leader Kh Joykishan, Thongju MLA and BJP general secretary (Administration) Th Bishwajit, another party leader Haobam Borobabu was conspicuously absent.

Borobabu, a former speaker of the state Assembly, and a former legislator of the party from Wangkhei A/C, was not part of the team that welcomed Erabot into the party. Speaking at the sideline of the reception ceremony, Erabot said he decided to leave the Congress considering the long suffering of the people of Wangkhei A/C for the last 15 years.

He said he took his decision based on recommendations from his supporters and public. The decision was taken during meetings held on September 9 and 10, he said. He said due to the prolonged negligence of the people by the Congress government for the past many years, he decided to tender resignation from both the primary membership of the Congress and the Manipur Legislative Assembly.

He said he decided to join the BJP under the leadership of K Bhabananda listening to demands from his workers

Erabot who hails from Khurai Ahongei in Wangkhei Assembly constituency was elected as Member of Legislative Assembly in 1980, 1984, 1995, 2002, 2007 and 2012. He had served as cabinet minister for five terms, including as minister of state in-charge of FCS and Local Self Government from 1980 to 1981, as cabinet minister in-charge of FCS from 1981 to 1983, minister in charge of PHE Manipur from 1995 to 1997, minister in-charge of Education, Social Welfare, Art and Culture from 1997 to 1998 and minister in charge of Co-operation and Commerce and Industry from 2007 to 2009.

Erabot accompanied by his workers and supporters entered the BJP office around 11 am after tendering his resignation from both the INC and as MLA of Wangkhei. During the grand reception, Bhabananda officially approved Yumkham Erabot as an active member of the BJP.

Addressing the gathering, the BJP state president said a leader of the stature of Erabot leaving the Congress indicates that the party has no room for people with integrity. He demanded what development has the Congress brought during last 15 years of its rule. Instead of taking up any developmental scheme for the people, the present government is more interested in opening engineering cells and seeking contract works, he alleged.

There is nothing to prove the existence of a government in the state under the present Congress government, he said, demanding how the public could continue to keep such a government. People should provide answers to the questions in the upcoming 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election.

Chaoba said Erabot’s bold move to leave the ruling party and join the opposition BJP to fight against corruption will be etched forever in the history of the state’s politics. He said the Congres will vanish soon from the state.

Chaoba further elaborated that the Congress leaders are involved in corruption, drug smuggling. The main reason for all the ills in the state is Okram Ibobi Singh, he attacked the CM and said now his relatives and family are involved in drug smuggling. For the last 15 years, the government has neglected Erabot and his constituency, he added. BJP believed that true and prominent leader will soon come out from congress party very soon, he observed.

Joykisan said Erabot joined the party because he is happy with the ideology of the BJP. We will work together to fight corruption, he said adding that though Erabot was in the ruling bench during the Assembly session, he always acted more like from the Opposition benches.

Will Lotus Bloom in Manipur?

Northeast Today / NET Bureau, Levion Jimmy

After the massive victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam Assembly election bringing a bitter end to the 15 years rule of Congress government led by Tarun Gogoi, all eyes are on Manipur for the fact that it still remains one of the last surviving strongholds of the Congress.

The Congress government of Manipur under the leadership of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, will be completing its 15 years in 2017 having survived onslaughts from various quarters including the Modi wave that swept across the country and also the internal conflict within the party.

The fall of Congress in Assam, that remained undisputed for three consecutive terms, has changed the perception of the entire political scenario in the region marred by ton of questions. The one prominent and obvious question of all is – Will the lotus bloom in Manipur?

The answer to the question has become a great interest of the entire nation yet challenging one even for the political think tank to answer at this point of time. Can the BJP’s mantra work in Manipur like it did in Assam to overthrow the ‘indomitable’ Okram Ibobi’s regime? Will the victory in Assam help bring any change in Manipur? These are questions constantly ringing in the minds of the people and politicians alike.

Nevertheless, the count-down to the ‘clash of the titans’ has begun with the general election of the state just months away, likely to be held before March 2017. Both the parties has rolled up its sleeves and preparing for the bout of the century in the election history of Manipur.

Is the BJP a formidable opponent to bring down another giant down? After the exit of Th Chaoba, former Union Minister, as the president of BJP Manipur Pradesh, Ksh Bhabananda, a new face to the political arena of the state took charge as the president of the ambitious party, determine to bring down a giant (Congress) in its own stronghold.

Although the change in leadership raised eyebrows amongst a handful of senior party members no objection was openly raised to the decision entirely made by central leadership. While the question of contested leadership lingers, distribution of party tickets became another issue since the resurgence of the party with the party rose into power in the Centre.

Against the backdrop, the Modi wave that turned the tide across the country was reduced to just a mere hype unable to deliver any significant impact to Manipur political scenario in favour of the party (BJP). Voters in Manipur are known to judge or select their candidate by the personality not by the party he affiliates to, said Arun Irengbam, senior journalist of Manipur, when asked why the Modi wave failed to take a flight in Manipur.

The joining of two sitting MLA, former member of the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) to BJP and their effortless win in the bye-election as BJP candidates is the clear manifestation of the trend of voting in Manipur and to corroborate the theory of Irengbam. Based on the same idea, rumours are circulating that the BJP is crafting a blue print that could change the whole dimension of the political scenario Manipur once and for all, detrimental to Congress, in the forthcoming 2017 general election in Manipur.

Th Chaoba, now the convenor of election committee BJP Manipur Pradesh, had also publicly announced that some of the senior members of the Congress were allegedly knocking at the door of the BJP. His announcement came in the wake of the reports of revolt by dissident congress MLAs against Ibobi for not initiating a mid-term reshuffle as promised.

The recent open criticism by congress spokesperson, Lamlai MLA N Biren, against Ibobi leadership, is also making rooms for more theory to conceive whether the dissident groups are conspiring with the BJP. The BJP president since the announcement of the Assam poll is reportedly camping in Delhi amidst the flying rumours till the time of filing the report.

However, Lamlai MLA, N Biren, in an exclusive interview to Northeast Today, clarified that there was no leadership crisis within the Congress party but an internal conflict within the congress family. He claimed that the Congress party is very much stable.

“It is the responsibility of the Congress party to inform the public what the government is doing and what the government ought to do when the public interest is in conflict while discharging its service,” the MLA explained referring to his open criticism against Ibobi. He said that ‘we’ are not satisfied with the re-shuffle and decentralisation of power.

The Congress spokesperson, further clarified that he has no knowledge about the so called ‘conspiracy’ between the BJP and dissident congress MLAs. It is worth noting that Manipur never had a record of an absolute majority ruling over the state until the 2007 election where the Congress led by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had scripted a history, close to absolute but that changed everything.

Since then the Ibobi led party apparently has complete control over the state with the periodical internal rift as the only gravest threat. Despite the fact, Ibobi regime grew in numbers and the number today has reached 47 MLAs of the total 60 seats. Is the conspiracy enough for BJP?

If ‘conspiracy theory’ circulating is true, Congress will suffer a heavy loss it had never imagined could conceive in the near very future. But can it deliver what it (BJP) wants, to overthrow the 15 years old Congress rule in Manipur.

Sources said that there are close to 20 MLAs in the list of dissident. On the other hand, Ibobi have the upper hand with over 27 MLAs close to half of the majority (60 seats). Will the ‘power hungry’ dissidents whose demand has been ministerial berth in Ibobi regime and ready to divide its own regime for power, would risk to stage a walk from the circle of power, is another area remains to be seen.

Given the facts and circumstances, nothing can be predicted at the present juncture but by August last week or September a significant development is anticipated. Till then, we will have to wait and watch.

Ditching Cong, embracing BJP: No party hopping

The Sangai Express Editorial, September 13 2016 

In deciding to leave the Congress and join the BJP, Y Erabot, the political strong man from Wangkhei Assembly Constituency has rung out a very important message. The Congress should take note of this. It is not only about an individual leaving the party, but is a reflection of where the BJP stands and this certainly cannot be comfortable for the Congress. A situation unthinkable prior to 2014, but after the BJP routed the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls more than two years back, it has been going from strength to strength and this is also being felt in the political firmament of the State.

From no MLA in the 2012 Assembly election, the BJP today has two MLAs who stormed the by election at Thangmeiband AC and Thongju AC. Not without reason that many interpreted the results of the by elections in the two Assembly Constituencies as something more than the loss of the Congress candidates but also the loss of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister. Just recall how the two leaders of the Congress Government went all the way while campaigning for the Congress candidates in the two ACs. Now comes the decision of Y Erabot to shift allegiance to the BJP and things certainly cannot be comfortable for the Congress.

That nothing was right between Erabot and Chief Minister O Ibobi is known to everyone and surely the man from Wangkhei Assembly Constituency will be remembered as the man who personally led hundreds of goods laden trucks to Imphal from the Imphal-Jiribam highway without additional security escort during the marathonesque highway blockade imposed by the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur sometime in 2010. Back then Erabot was the hero, the man of the hour while the Chief Minister was seen as someone who failed to extend the needed co-operation. It is this image which will stand by him, an image which says that Erabot is a man of action ready to do away with all the niceties of protocol.

Early days yet but interestingly in ditching the Congress and joining the BJP, not many people see this as party hopping for political advantage but more as an act of revolt against the leaders of the Congress party. This again will see him in good stead and this is something which is important given that Assembly election is scheduled for the early part of 2017.

State Congress’ woes

The Imphal Free Press editorial, 14 Sep

Elections to the Manipur State Legislative Assembly are barely five month away and as expected, there are already rumblings in the ruling Congress party with a senior party leader Yumkham Erabot, MLA, Wangkhei Assembly Constituency, deserting to join the BJP – the Congress’s arch rival and one which is predicted to give the ruling party a run for its money at the 2017 hustling. The blow could not have been not hurtful for the Congress despite denials. Even if one MLA departing is unlikely to put the well ensconced Congress in any existential crisis immediately, the propaganda advantage the BJP gained is already evident. Moreover, the wound inflicted amongst the morale of the Congress party workers cannot by any circumstance be dismissed as trivial. It may be recalled Erabot at one time was projected as a potential replacement for chief minister Okram Ibobi and indeed his bitter rivalry with the latter is well known. In the last Assembly election, it is everybody’s knowledge that Ibobi had set up a proxy candidate to defeat Erabot, and again when this did not succeed in eliminating Erabot, the latter became the first to be shown the door from the Ibobi cabinet. Considering the nature of the friction between the two leaders, there was little likelihood of Erabot ever gaining a prominent leadership position in the Congress as long as Ibobi remained at the helm. Erabot’s change of heart therefore could as much have been an act of desperation.

That Erabot may not have it easy in the BJP because the BJP has a very prominent leader in his constituency in former speaker of the Assembly, Haobam Borobabu, is another story. But to return to the Congress, it is anybody’s guess the party’s woes are far from over with Erabot’s extreme and dramatic rebellion. In fact, Erabot’s departure may be an indicator of the pattern of dissidence within the party’s top rung leadership in the run up to the election. That is to say, the possible ruptures in the Congress is likely to begin at the top and not from the mid or bottom rung leadership. It may sound incredulous, but going by the culture of power sharing in the Congress government under Ibobi, it is likely the top rung, beginning from Ibobi’s cabinet colleagues, are the ones most insecure at this moment. Presuming all of the current Congress MLAs return their seats in the next elections, and presuming there are no further defections, the question is, who amongst them would be part of the new cabinet. Of course, the presumption also is, Ibobi would again be the leader of the new Congress Legislature Party. In the three terms that Ibobi has been the chief minister, except for very senior leaders who pose no threat to him, he has never retained any of the younger ministers in his cabinet. In a way he is compelled not to. Other MLAs waiting in the queue also obviously want their places in the sun and would rebel should he stray from this norm.

The rumour mills corroborate this picture. Part of these stories probably is motivated, with BJP spin doctors waging a psychological war to corner the Congress in the hope of causing panic in their ranks. Nonetheless, as they say there cannot be smoke where there is absolutely no fire. If these grapevines are to be taken seriously, many in the current Ibobi cabinet are the ones secretly sending over olive branches to the BJP, probing possibilities of better prospects in the party’s election wagon. This also implies the Congress’ second and third rung leaders are the ones with hopes for a cabinet berth should Ibobi head a Congress government again in the next term, therefore they are the ones least likely to leave the party for the BJP camp. Needless to say, it is a very fine balance Ibobi has to keep as he launches the election campaign for the new Assembly. He cannot afford to kill all hopes for his senior colleagues, just as he had done in the case of Erabot, but should he give the impression his current team will remain his team in the next term too, his trouble will begin from lower down the ladder. As long as the Congress in the state had no real challenger to the corridors of power, he could dictate his terms as a monarch would, but this cannot be said to be the reality anymore. With the BJP having come to power at the Centre, the equation has altered radically and the state BJP, though they never had any worthwhile base in the state, is now roaring like lion, and if Ibobi is not careful, the party may also quit as well develop the bite of a lion capable of mauling and decimating his party.

BJP’s tirade will have no takers: Mirabai

The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 13 2016: BJP’s unrestrained propaganda and verbal assault against the Congress while conveniently overlooking all the development works undertaken by the Government during the past 15 years will have very few takers, asserted Social Welfare Minister AK Mirabai.

She was speaking at the inaugural function of a community hall at Ghari Awang Leikai within Patsoi AC today. It is said that the community hall was constructed with the MLA Local Area Development of 2016-17. Speaking at the gathering, Mirabai that the Congress Government has been undertaking different development works although the pace slowed down a bit due to financial constraints in the last couple of years.

Unleashing all kinds of malicious propaganda while turning a blind eye to all the development works taken up by the Government would prove to be unpalatable to the public, Mirabai said. She pointed out that it was during the Congress Government that Manipur Technical University and Manipur University for Culture were set up.

She went on to declare that she would resign from being an MLA if any one can provide evidence about misuse or swindling of PDS rice allocated for NFSA beneficiaries of Patsoi AC. So far 11 community halls have been constructed, all major roads of Patsoi AC have been repaired and many schools have been upgraded. She then sought people’s continuous support so that she could complete incomplete projects and take up new ones during the next term.

Wangkhei Block Cong members set to join BJP

The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 13 2016: After Wangkhei AC MLA Yumkham Erabot left Congress party and joined BJP, Congress members of the Assembly segment have decided to quit Wangkhei Block Congress Committee.

Speaking to media persons at the residence of Erabot, Wangkhei Block Congress Committee vice-president Th Ibopishak said that members of the block have submitted resignation letters to the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) to join Wangkhei BJP Mandal. MLA Joykishan who was also present at the press meet announced that the BJP Manipur Pradesh president has approved Erabot’s membership in BJP.

Claiming that Congress party has been completely uprooted from Wangkhei AC, the MLA said that if any one is still supporting Congress party in Wangkhei AC, it amounts to supporting drug smuggling. Erabot’s landmark step indicated his determination to save youngsters from the jaws of drug smugglers. Kingpins of all the drug cartels operating in Manipur are all relatives of top Government officials and leaders of the Congress party, alleged the MLA. This implied that the incumbent Government supports drug smugglers.

If the State should be spared from the menace of drugs, everybody should stop supporting Congress party, Joykishan asserted.

Political awareness programme

The Sangai Express

Senapati, September 13 2016: BJP Saitu Mandal organised a one-day political awareness programme at Ichum Keirap on September 11 where retired IRS and intending BJP candidate Tongmang Haokip attended as the guest of honour. Speaking at the occasion Tongmang Haokip said the need of the hour for the tribal is a leader who has an in-depth knowledge of MLR &LR Acts, protection of tribal land and heritage in the light of the controversial ILPS Bills.

“Tribal MLAs whom we had supported in the past, never looked back at us in times of suffering, death, etc,” Haokip said while adding that the tribal sitting MLAs, by constituting the Hill Areas Committee have literally sold out the interest and security of the tribal in exchange for their selfish ends.

Announcing that he will contest the up-coming Assembly Elections 2017, Haokip said the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi stands for development and upliftment of the poor tribal which are manifested in the nomination of Mary Kom as Rajya Sabha Member and the Act East Policy.

Amit Shah mission skirts minefield
Scating attacks on Ibobi and Co, promise to protect boundary

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | September 14

BJP national president Amit Shah promised a performing government in Manipur, but sidestepped a possible minefield by choosing not to mention contentious issues of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and Inner Line Permit (ILP) system during his speech here today. Shah, who arrived here on a two day visit to also flex the party’s muscle and kick-start BJP campaign for the upcoming State Assembly election, addressed a mammoth rally of BJP booth level workers at Hapta Kangjeibung here.

Perhaps today’s is the largest ever BJP rally in Manipur. An estimated 50,000 workers from 2749 polling booths spread across the State gathered at the rally. Many BJP workers had to return from the gate as Hapta Kangjeibung was jam-packed to capacity. After capturing power in neighbouring Assam, BJP is eyeing to overthrow nearly 15 year long rule of Congress under the leadership of Okram Ibobi Singh. Today’s rally sought to send out a loud and clear message that BJP is fully prepared to take on the Congress. Shah promised to safeguard Manipur’s boundary, create jobs for youths and complete four-lane Imphal to Singapore highway via Thailand by 2019. The boundary dispute between Manipur-Myanmar is a very emotive issue for the people of Manipur. Similarly the ILP and armed forces act are other two important issues of the state. The BJP is not expected to take a clear stand on the two issues and therefore BJP supremo apparently skipped these issues not to kick up a row within the party.

Amit was liberal in making blistering attacks on Ibobi Singh government, accusing it of pocketing welfare funds, selling rice meant for the poor, failing to implement Centre’s projects etc. “The NDA government gifted Manipur National Sports University. But Ibobi Singh government fails to implement it. Had there been the sports university India could have won more Olympic medals,” Amit said.

Listing development programmes taken up by the Narendra Modi government the BJP leader said the Centre sanctioned more than Rs. 150 crore for railway line in the state, established an oil depot and revived DoNER ministry. “There was a time when NE people used to go to Delhi for NEC projects. But now NEC officials start visiting every state in the region under directives from the Prime Minister,” he said.

Reminding that the previous NDA government sanctioned Rs. 5000 crore for Manipur the leader charged that the money went down to pockets of the Congress ministers and MLAs. He also cited Loktak lake cleaning project “scam” and police constable recruitment row as misdeeds of the present government.

Drawing a parallel between a defunct transformer and Ibobi Singh government Amit urged the people without mentioning the name of BJP to replace the “useless transformer” with a new one for all round development of Manipur. Union human resource minister Prakash Javadeker also addressed the rally. He said the gathering today is a massage to the Ibobi Singh to vacate the seat as he completed 15 years of “looting people’s properties” in state.

He also flayed Ibobi Singh government for keeping Ima market buildings in a precarious condition. Himant Biswa Sarma Finance and Education Minister of Assam alleged that number of unemployed youths rises and level of corruption increases in Manipur under Ibobi Singh government. The BJP leaders declared BJP will come to power in Manipur Meghalaya and Mizoram. “Narendra Modi and Amit Shah will root out corruption in NE. Manipur will change for the better,” Himant said.

A Sarda, national vive-president Mahila Morcha, Sh Shantikumar, M Bhorot, H Borbabu former State presidents, MLAs Kh Joykisan and Bishwajit, Th Chaoba, convener State Election Management Committee, K Bhabananda State president also addressed the rally.

Gaikhangam: BJP stockpiling weeds

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | September 14

Instead of stockpiling fertile seeds, the BJP seems more interested in stocking weeds, deputy chief minister Gaikhangam said referring to new entrants into the BJP without naming the latest entrant Wangkhei MLA Yumkham Erabot.

He was speaking at a one-day conference on empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institute today at the Congress Bhawan organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayati Raj Sangathan, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee. Drawing parallel between weeds and political immigrants joining the BJP, he said BJP needs to implement a “political ILP” for entry into the party.

Without making any reference of the Wangkhei MLA who recently left his party and joined the BJP, Gaikhangam retorted the recent joining from Congress to BJP will be the last and none other will follow suit. Further attacking the BJP, the state deputy CM said the people should be aware of not repeating the “June 18” uprising by promoting the BJP. The people should remember that it was the BJP whose actions flared up the uprising leading to 18 lives lost and even the burning down of the state Assembly building, he added.

 The state is yet to fully recover from the wounds of June 18, he reminded. In a veiled attack on the visit of the BJP national president, he said people should be wary of the BJP leader’s visit and learn from the past of not making the same mistake of supporting the BJP. Coming to the topic of the day’s conference, Gaikhangam said Panchayati Raj in an important aspect of governance for the nation can only grow if the villages and rural areas are developed. Mahatma Gandhi’s words “go to the villages” meant a lot in developing the country, he observed.

He continued it was the Congress led government in the centre that amended the Panchayati Raj Institute. Congress believes the public to be their support base, while the RSS is the support base of the BJP, he said adding the BJP has no belief in secularism and democracy. The state is facing a crucial political juncture at the moment and the public should be very sensible in choosing their leaders, he added.

BJP only thinks of replacing the Congress and they have no intention of bringing any development for the state. He continued the political party is like a temple and the party members should devote their live to their party. Gandhi Panchayati Raj Sangathan, AICC New Delhi chairperson Meenakshi Natarajan said there are 32 lakhs elected village representatives in the country of which 12 lakhs are women. With decentralisation of power to the village level, the nation has managed to grow rapidly, she added.

She said that these grass root level democratic political set ups are actively working towards that growth of the nation. The BJP doesn’t believe in decentralization and has cut down maximum funding to the grassroot level, she said. Manipur Pradesh congress committee vice president and chairman PDA T Mangibabu Singh was also present in the one day conference as functional president.

Manipur “major beneficiary” of DoNER fund

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | September 14

The Union Minister of State (Independent charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and MoS PMO, Jitendra Singh said an amount of over Rs 100 crore has been released by the DoNER ministry in the first five months of the current financial year for various development projects in Manipur, according to a PIB statement.

According to the statement, the MoS elaborated that an amount of Rs 28.47 crore was released for different projects under NLCPR (Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources) and approximately Rs. 75 crore was released for the NEC (North Eastern Council) projects. This is in addition to the various other fundings and budget releases coming to the State from other Ministries in the Government of India, he added, it said.

It said presiding over a meeting of the Ministry of DoNER here today, Jitendra said that among the North-Eastern States, Manipur is the major beneficiary of liberal funding and assistance from various central ministries. In this context, he also referred to the Jiribam-Silchar rail link and the broad-gauge rail track project from Jiribam to Tupul, it said.

Similarly, Jitendra said that four-laning of the road from Imphal to Moreh and Senapati to Imphal have also been undertaken, it said. In the Power sector, he said, with the active support from the ministry of DoNER, the state government and other related agencies have succeeded in providing uninterrupted power supply in the capital city of Imphal, it said.

Elaborating on the other new innovative plans for various North Eastern states, Jitendra said, all the 103 district headquarters in the Northeast are planned to be connected to the nearest highway through a minimum two-lane road, it said. At the same time, four-laning of several of the roads is in progress at a fast track, he added, according to the statement.

 The MoS also said that considering the exclusive athletic talent among the youth of Northeast, a Sports University for Manipur has been announced by the centre, but because of certain issues related to land acquisition, the project has been delayed, it said. The DoNER Ministry is, however, actively pursuing it with the state government in Imphal, he said.

Speaker accepts resignations by 4 NPF MLAs, Erabot

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | September 15: The Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly today accepted the resignations of five MLAs, including the four Naga Peoples Front (NPF) MLAs and declared the constituencies represented by them vacant. The Assembly secretary in-charge K Meghajit Singh also issued separate bulletins as well.

The five are NPF MLAs Dr V Alexander Pao elected from Karong constituency, ST Nunghlung Victor elected from Chandel, Samuel Risom elected from Ukhrul, Dikho elected from Mao Constituency and Yumkham Erabot Singh elected from Wangkhei.

According to an official order of the Speaker, Congress MLA Erabot elected from 15-Wangkhei constituency resigned from the membership of Manipur Legislative Assembly yesterday, and consequent upon his resignation the seat of Wangkhei A/C has remained vacant.

Similarly, the Speaker accepted the resignation of the four NPF MLAs.

The NPF members announced their resignations from the Assembly in September last year to protest against the Protection of Manipur People Bill 2015, the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill 2015, and the Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill 2015, which were passed by the State Assembly on August 31 last year.

Though the Assembly secretariat remained silent on their resignations the four MLAs had been abstaining from attending the House sessions since the August sitting. However IFP found out that the four NPF legislators were reportedly drawing their salaries and other entitlements till August this year.

The Assembly authorities had been receiving the authorisation letters of the NPF MLAs claiming their entitlements till now despite having tendered their resignations. The MLAs not only claimed their salary but other entitlements including salaries for their sub-ordinate staff. An MLA is entitled with at least five or six subordinate staff for his assistance like driver, computer staff etc. for which he gets additional payment. In addition to his/her over one lakh rupees salary as basic pay per month, an MLA enjoys other allowances.

State electors cross 18 lakhs mark

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL| September 15: The State Election office will organise various forms of campaign across the state to rectify electoral rolls, Chief Electoral Officer Vivek Kumar Dewangan told media persons during a press conference at his Old Secretariat office.

Kumar said the total number of electors in the draft rolls is 18,07,843 out of which 8,87,963 are male and 9,19,880 are female electors. Vivek said the electoral population ratio is 54.70, while according to the 2011 census report the projected electoral population percentage is 64.11 percent.

According to the population census, the female ratio per 1000 male is 982, whereas the draft electoral roll has 1036 female per 1000 male, he said, adding that his office has generated a report on the population of female electors above the age of 30 years who are still staying with their parents.

Elaborating further, Vivek said booth level officers will visit door to door to verify whether married female electors are enrolled in the polling stations of both her parental residence and married residence.

All concerned individuals and family are invited to voluntarily provide details regarding shifting of residence or married electors who are enrolled more than once or dead electors whose names are yet to be deleted from the rolls, he said and added voluntary disclosures are also sought on errors in particulars of electors, contact details of electors and if there is still any eligible person who are yet to be enrolled in the electoral rolls.

Married electors who are enrolled in the electoral rolls of both polling stations of her parental and husband residences should come forward and rectify the error, he appealed. Citizens who are going to be over 18 years of age as on January 1, 2017 should also come forward to get enrolled in the electoral roll, he added. The general public and representatives of political parties may verify the draft electoral rolls at the office of the electoral roll officers (EROs)/ assistant electoral roll officers (AEROs) and at all the polling stations including rural and urban elected bodies from September 7 to 21, he said.

Vivek further informed that reading of relevant section of photo electoral rolls in gram sabha or local bodies and RWA meeting etc and verification of names will also be conducted by the concerned EROs on September 24 and October 2. Special campaigns with booth level agents of political parties for receiving claims and objectives will also be organised on September 25 and October 3, he added.

The claims filed by the general public during the prescribed period will be disposed of by the concerned EROs on or before November 18, 2016, he stated and added that the concerned EROs will finally published the Electoral Rolls containing the supplementary list of additions, deletions and correction on January 2, 2017.

No comments:

Post a Comment