Chapter 21

Politicking in Wabagai Lamkhai Bazar

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 2

The Hiyanglam MLA Elangbam Dwijamani is becoming an impediment to the development of Wabagai Lamkhai Bazar as a major marketing centre. This was stated by a member of the Wabagai Bazar Committee Moirangthem Shajou Meetei at a press conference today at Manipur Press Club, Imphal.

He said, the surrounding population had a dream of creating a standard market place for hill and valley produce at Wabagai Lamkhai an area adjoining Wabagai and Hiyanglam constituencies since the 1970s. He further said, before the 1972 delimitation both Hiyanglam and Wabagai were under one constituency. The then community leaders had agreed among them to establish a Wabagai Lamkhai Bazar in the present place in fulfillment of the dream of our forefathers.

The construction of the market was started on 1976 on the land bought from a person Moirangthem Mani by the Bazar committee on installment payment including food grains. The land was registered in the name of the Committee in 1993 with registration number 52 of 1993 on April 13, 1993. Necessary approvals were given and patta was issued to the committee on July 25, 1995 after a long official process.

Unfortunately, in March or April of current year, the Hiyanglam MLA E Dwijamani has produced a gazette notification order pertaining to inclusion of Wabagai Lamkhai bazar under Hiyanglam Nagar Panchayat. Some nearby residents began suggesting that the nomenclature of Wabagai Lamkhai area should be changed to Hiyanglam. Later, supporters of the MLA came up with a fake document of Wabagai Lamkhai Bazaar committee (A), Shajou claimed.  

These persons made a complaint to Kakching police station to stop the construction work of the Wabagai Lamkhai Bazaar and in this regard the DC Thoubal has directed the SDO Kakching to give a proper survey report on the matter. But before completion of the survey the SDO was transferred. Recently, 12-13 clubs of Wabagai and bazaar committee together conducted a social service of the area including earthwork for upgradation of the Bazar but under the instigation of Hiyanglam MLA the Kakching police has restricted entry into the area.

State BJP holds political conference ahead of polls

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 2

A one-day political conference with the objective to bring a New Manipur was organised by BJP Manipur Pradesh today at Tera Bazar, Imphal West. Sapam Kunjakeshwor, executive member, BJP Manipur Pradesh, Kolomcha Achoubi Khuman; president of South East Asia Cultural Organisation (SEACO), Bimola Devi, ex-Pradhan of Patsoi GP and executive members of the party state unit were among the dignitaries present at the conference.

In his speech, Kunjakeshwor also known as Keba and an aspiring BJP candidate described Congress as “sinking ship” which people no more want to get near and board inside. He claimed that despite having poor political performance on creating an image of good governance existence in the State for almost 15 years, the Congress will degrade in future.

Asserting that time to further consider Congress has come to an end, the ex-Minister said it is high time for the people to unite, who are done with Congress. He called upon the people to opt for a promising political party and candidates for better future of the state.

Terming Congress as a profit-oriented political party, he said the BJP has very different ideologies based on the intention to serve the people. Keba said Congress party is very skilful in snatching votes and alerting the masses to be cautious as the candidates and workers of the party will knock at every door to gain vote in the time of election with the money collected illegally.

Maintaining that BJP belongs to all groups and communities and trust of the people, he assured that the party will bring significant changes in the State if it comes to power in the ensuing State Assembly Election. He exuded confidence that the party will emerge victory in the election with the faith of the people. Important national leaders of BJP will visit the State within a couple of days, he informed.

Manipur’s hill areas receive step-motherly treatment from central government

Imphal Times

Imphal, October 02 2016: Manipur’s hill areas has been receiving step motherly treatment by the central government as the ADCs which start functioning since June 2015 are presently left out from 14th Finance Commission award as well as financial grant provided by NITI Aayog does not cover these hill districts of the state.

Left with no choice the state government has approached the central government time and again to deliver fair treatment to the ADCs of Manipur but to no avail. As per the 14th Finance Commission report areas under Schedule VI in Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Assam and the areas in the Hill Districts of Manipur, Rural area of Nagaland and Mizoram remain outside the ambit of the measures recommended for Panchayats and Municipalities.

After nearly 20 years, Manipur government had finally conducted election for Autonomous District Councils in June 2015 and made the local bodies fully functional. However, with limited financial resources, it is now not feasible to function to the fullest to carry out the mandate. Center is now leaving the fate of the ADCs to the mercy of the state government which does not have adequate resource on its own to run the government.

A source said Chief Minister Okram Ibobi had written about the matters requesting for inclusion of the ADCs in the award by the 14th Finance Commission to both the Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Union Finance Minister and also to the Prime Minister. As of now the center is not allocating any appropriate amount either in the form of grant or package for the six ADCs.

Sapam Keba kickstart election campaign

Imphal Times

Imphal, October 02 2016: Former MLA of Patsoi assembly constituency and member of BJP Manipur Pradesh, Sapam Keba today kicked start his election campaign by organizing a Political Conference at Tera Keithel. Reporters witness large number of supporters attending the Political Conference but the air was seem filled with suspicion on whether Keba will be able to get BJP ticket for contesting the 2017 Manipur Election.

Speaking on the occasion Sapam Keba said that getting ticket is not a matter to worry as far as people of the constituency supported him. “Getting BJP ticket or not is not important but it is the peoples’ support that is required”, Keba said. However, Keba still seem to have faith in BJP. “Political changes will be seen in the coming 15 to 20 days and he assured the people that BJP will surely bring a change to the state.”

 It may be mentioned that another prominent leader of the BJP S. Premananda Sharma has also announced to fight the election as BJP candidate. People in the party are of the opinion that S.Premananda has more weigh in the BJP Manipur Pradesh as he is presently holding an important post in the party organisation. Source also added that S.Premananda is presently at Guwahati engaged in meeting with the leaders of the BJP.

BJP gears up

The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 02 2016: While charging that Congress party is synonymous with corruption, BJP State Election Management Committee convenor Th Chaoba said that there is no room for corruption in BJP. He was speaking at a booth level meeting of Singjamei BJP Mandal at the residence of Ng Robert today.

Even though the BJP Government at the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is two years old
there has been not a single charge of corruption. He went on to claim that Congress is unable to compete with corruption-free BJP. Saying that all the incumbent Congress MLAs will be defeated in the forthcoming Assembly election, Chaoba exuded confidence that Ng Robert can certainly win Singjamei seat.

Meanwhile, a meeting of BJP workers was held today at Singjamei Okram Leikai under the aegis of BJP Singjamei Mandal. Speaking at the gathering, BJP Manipur Pradesh tormer president Sh Shantikumar said that the party has identified the candidates who would be allotted party tickets for the State Assembly election. Rather than speculating who would be given BJP ticket, people of Singjamei AC need to focus their time and energy on uprooting Congress party from the Assembly segment.

Former Minister S Rajen too appealed to the people of Singjamei AC to concentrate on ensuring victory of Y Khemchand in Singjamei AC rather than speculating who would be given BJP ticket. On the other hand, a one day political conference was held today at the Tera Bazar residence of former MLA Sapam Kunjeshore (Keba). Speaking at the gathering, Kunjeshore said that a new picture of BJP would emerge before October 15 .

People would soon see a new poll strategy of BJP and a BJP Government would be established in the State after the forthcoming Assembly election. He also called upon the gathering to pledge collectively in order to uproot Congress party from Patsoi AC.

BJP State Executive meet held; vows to oust ‘Corrupt’ Congress rule

Imphal Times

Imphal, October 03 2016: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Manipur Pradesh has unanimously resolved to oust “corrupt” Chief Minister-led Congress government in the state during its state executive meeting held today at Imphal Hotel.

The meeting was attended by Prahlad Singh Patel, State Prabhari of BJP as President and Prakash Javedkar, Union HRD Minister and Election Prabhari of BJP Manipur Pradesh BJP as President and Chief Guest respectively while Th Chaoba Singh, Convenor of state BJP Manipur Election Management Committee; Vice Presidents M Asnikumar Singh and S Premananda Sharma; MLAs Kh Joykishan, and Th Biswajit Singh and others Core Committee members of Pradesh BJP participated as Guests of Honour.

In view of the upcoming State Assembly election, BJP Manipur Pradesh has taken some major steps including directives to all of its above 2000 booth level committees to append “Vote for BJP” at least 200 household at each Mandal. Appending of “Vote of BJP” drive would be continued till October 15 from today October 3, 2016 .

It also resolved to bring a good and responsible BJP government in the state by strengthening party workers and exposing misdeeds of the incumbent state government. At least a full time worker of the party would be appointed at all the 60 mandals across the state, resolved the meeting. While congratulating the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi for his valour act cleansing terrorists along the Indo-Pakistan border by successfully conducting ‘surgical strike’ few days ago, it also observed that under the abled leadership of the Modi, “India is safer and stronger” .

Collectively the meeting endorsed the resolutions taken by the party during its National Executive meeting held in Calicut from 23-25 September, 2016 .

Election officers’ training begins in Imphal

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 3

Ahead of the upcoming Assembly election in Manipur, a 11-day training programme for election officers started at the Institute of Co-operative Management Conference Hall in Imphal on Monday. The ‘Training of Trainers and Facilitators’ and ‘Training on Leadership and Motivation’ programme is jointly being organised by the chief electoral officer of Manipur and India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) under the supervision of the Election Commission of India (ECI). Around 100 trainees participated in the first day of the training on Monday. The Manipur Legislative Assembly election, 2017 will be held in early 2017, as the term of current assembly expires on March 18, 2017.

BJP reschedules rally against Speaker on October 6

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 3

BJP Manipur today declared it is rescheduling its cancelled mass rally against the Speaker on October 6. The BJP Manipur unit was all set to organise a protest rally on October 1 against ‘violation’ of the Indian Constitution by the state Assembly Speaker who the party said has wrongly translated the Constitution’s provisions according to his own vested interest.

The rally against the Speaker for the pending MLA disqualification cases was cancelled after the Speaker announced his verdict in some of the pending cases, however, the party had set October 3 as deadline for the Speaker to declare his verdict on the remaining two disqualification cases warning to reschedule the rally if he fails to meet the deadline.

Speaking to media persons at his party office chamber, BJP Manipur president K Bhabananda the Speaker’s failure to declare his verdict regarding the two remaining cases till date is unconstitutional. He said the earlier scheduled rally was cancelled since the Speaker announced his verdict regarding the disqualification case of five MSCP MLAs.

However, since the Speaker has failed to pass his verdict on the remaining two cases, the BJP has been compelled to reschedule the rally on October 6, he added. The rally, he said, will start from Hao ground in Singjamei Pishum and will move towards the Raj Bhavan, where the BJP will submit a memorandum to the Governor detailing the Speaker’s violation of the Constitution for his and his party’s interest.

He continued the party had also convened its state executive meeting at the Sangai hall of the Imphal Hotel by Classic attended by the party’s election in charge Prakash Javadekar who is also the Union HRD minister. The meeting, he said, discussed how to strengthen the party ahead of the 2017 state Assembly election. He said the meeting further reaffirmed a resolution taken during the party’s national council meeting held at Calicut, Kerala on September 14. The executive meeting has decided to conduct a series of meetings on district, mandal and booth levels, he said.

BJP rally today

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | Oct 5

Tomorrow’s BJP rally is to highlight the wrongful exercise of constitutional powers by the Speaker of the state said MLA Kh Joykishan. He said after the rally a memorandum will be submitted to the Governor to report the Speaker’s wrongful exercise of constitutional power in the disqualification cases.

BJP lambasts Congress govt, says CCC is the trademark of Congress govt

Imphal Times

Imphal, October 05 2016: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Manipur Pradesh has come out today with strong allegation against the ‘misrule’ of Congress government in the state. Speaking to a gathering at political dialogue organised by BJP Uripok AC Mandal at Naoremthong here, Vice-President of BJP Manipur Pradesh, Moirangthem Asnikumar alleged that the Ibobi-led Congress government in the state is highly desperate and failed one with its CCC (Corruption, Commission and Cruelty) trademark.

With its 15 years of misrule, the level of corruption has shoot up; and in its bid to save the government the government is dolling out ‘jobs for vote’ and ‘cash for job’, said the VP of Pradesh BJP. “At this critical juncture of the state, BJP is the only alternative to the people of Manipur,” said Asnikumar. He also appealed the people to wake up and raise their voice against corruption for a better Manipur.

MLA boycotted

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | Oct 5

Icham Khunou Youth Welfare Association and other local clubs and organisations of Charangpat and Icham Khunou claimed that Wangkhem Assembly constituency MLA Keisham Meghachandra has been imposed a social boycott in the area. Speaking to media persons at the Manipur Press Club today, association president Khamnam Khomdon said on September 30, the MLA arrived uninvited at the inaugural of a new building of the RYDO club at Icham Khunou and got involved in a verbal argument with members of the Women Joint Action Committee of Charangpat and Icham Khunou.

The argument led to the MLA’s escorts going berserk and firing their guns and tear gas shells leaving many injured, he alleged. He also claimed that the MLA was imposed a social boycott since the incident.

Congress will come back to power: O Ibobi

Imphal Free Press

THOUBAL | October 5

The Congress party will come back to power after the next Assembly election with not less than 45 MLAs. Voters of Manipur still have faith on the Congress party said Okram Ibobi Singh. The Chief Minister was speaking at a political conference organised by the Khangabok Block Congress Committee at Wangbal Lampak as a chief guest here today.

Speaking on the controversial ILP Bill, O Ibobi said his government is serious about bringing an amicable solution to the pending issue. “We have sent invitation to the JCILPS today to sit down on the table together, the same will be sent to the Churachandpur JAC as well”, he said.

He emphasised that there is still time to come together to a meeting point on the pending issue and that dialogue can bring understanding on any issue. The ILP related Bill that was passed was not meant to damage the fraternal bond between the ethnic communities of the state, he added.  He pointed out that India is a federal structure and every state of the country has equal right. “We know how to get our share and we will get it even if anyone tries to encroach on it. The dream of BJP that they will come to power in the state by virtue of its power at the Center will remain a dream”, he said.

Further he alleged that the BJP led NDA government has renamed all the projects that was taken up the then UPA government. “Look East Policy has been renamed as Act East Policy but we haven’t seen much progress in any field. We need to be careful of their deceitful act”, he added. Giving clarification on the Sports University, he said, “Out of the 32 acres of controversial land of Yaithibee Loukon, an agreement has been reached on 28 acres on the negotiating table. The site was chosen by a Central survey team. We don’t know what the BJP will have to say on this”.

Deputy Chief Minister, Gaikhangam who also spoke on the occasion maintained that Congress is not an ordinary political party; the history of the country is the history of the party. It’s a rarity, he said. He maintained the state has seen all round development during the Congress rule. “We don’t see any disparity between the hill and the plain. There has been lot of development in the hills. The NSCN-IM has boycotted us. They alleged us of not bringing development in the hill, but they have not boycotted money”, he said. 

Taking jibes on the ‘Acche din’ of the BJP led NDA government; he said nothing has been achieved in this regard. They failed to repair the Imphal-Jiri highway within 100 days as promised, and they should know that it is the responsibility of the Central government to take care of the national highways, he pointed out. He said Congress government in the state removed AFSPA from seven Assembly segments in spite of stiff opposition from the Center. “We took that decision respecting the sentiment of the people of Manipur. But the RSS, which is a parent organisation of BJP has come out openly against the repeal of AFSPA”, Gaikhangam added.

The political conference was also attended by TN Haokip, president MPCC, minister M Okendro, I Hemochandra, AK Mirabai, Md Naseer, MLA K Ranjit, N Loken, K Meghachandra, Y Surchandra, E Dwijamani, O Landhoni, P Brojen and Md Fajur Rahim.

BJP staged protest rally denouncing Speaker’s verdict, memorandum submitted

Imphal Free Press

Imphal, October 06 2016: BJP Manipur Pradesh today staged a protest rally against the unfair verdict, misuse and abuse of constitutional powers by the Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly and submitted a memorandum to the governor of Manipur. The protest rally was attended by MLA Joykishan, Th Chaoba, Ashnikumar, Joykumar, Bishwajit, R.K.Shivachandra along with large number of party members coming from different constituencies of the state.

The protest rally kick-off from Khagempalli Huidrom Leikai Yumjao Leimerbi Lampak around 11 of the morning which wind up at the party office. Later, five representatives from the BJP Manipur Pradesh Th Chaoba, Ashnikumar, Joykumar, Joykishan and Bishwajit went to meet Dr Najma Heptulla, Governor of Manipur to submit a memorandum regarding the unfair verdict by the Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly unfortunately they had to submit the memorandum to the Secretary as the Governor was not available at Raj Bhavan.

Another jolt for Congress: Heingang Biren says quit

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 6

Congress MLA and a former minister Nongthombam Biren Singh on Thursday announced his resignation from both the state Assembly and the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee before reporters and supporters at his residence in Luwangshangbam. Biren submitted his resignations to the Speaker Thokchom Lokeshwar Singh and MPCC president TN Haokip today. It is learnt that the Speaker has accepted his resignation.

Once a close aide of the Chief Minister, Biren was a minister in the previous Congress led state government. Despite his announcement that he has not yet decided on joining any other party and that he will take a decision only after consulting his supporters and workers, the announcement has only fanned speculations about his joining the BJP ahead of the 2017 election.

The state Assembly election is likely to be held in February next year. Biren’s resignation is the second instance of a senior Congress legislator resigning from both the party and the state Assembly in as many months. Barely a month ago, on September 10, Yumkham Erabot confirmed his desire to resign from the MPCC as well as from the Assembly and officially joined the BJP on September 12.

Biren’s act seems to hit hard the Congress, with Haokip expressing “surprise” at his decision to leave the party. It is premature to say anything at the moment, the MPCC president said on being asked if Biren’s resignation could have any major impact on his party. He said “Biren is one of my most trusted friends and I have no idea why he took such a decision. I’m quite surprised”

According to the MPCC president, ‘Biren didn’t even leave any hint before announcing his decision.’ On the other hand, Biren said his main objective is to safeguard the land of the valley and bring more development to the hills. BJP vice president M Asnikumar Singh said his party would welcome Biren if he wishes to join the party. These two resignations of N Biren today and Erabot last month have exposed the rot within the Congress Party and the Ibobi Singh-led government, he said.

The two have send out clear signals to the people, he added. The corrupt government of the coterie cannot hold its house in order, he said. “Biren’s resignation is the beginning of end of Congress in Manipur,” Asnikumar said. Biren’s son in law and Congress MLA from Sagolband Assembly constituency RK Imo said the party is still confused as to why Biren took the decision. The reason behind the decision could be failure to resolve the issues surrounding the state at the moment, Imo told a gathering at the inaugural function of a Waloushang (Kitchen) at Kalimai Mandir today.

However, the Congress will have no set back even if some senior leaders resign from the party, the remaining MLAs and leaders will strengthen the party ahead of the 2017 election Imo told the gathering.

Mayang Imphal Cong offices inaugurated

The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 06 2016: Newly constructed offices of Imphal West-II District Congress Committee, Mayang Imphal Block Mahila Congress Committee and Mayang Imphal Youth Congress Committee were inaugurated today at Mayang Imphal Keithel by Education and Transport Minister Dr Kh Ratankumar.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr Ratankumar said that unlike BJP, Congress never attempts to befool the public or float false propaganda. Asking what has the BJP led Central Government done for the people of the Northeastern region, Dr Ratankumar said that many Union Ministers visitors the North Eastern States including Manipur but they did nothing except giving lip service.

The BJP Government is quite adept in re-naming schemes and projects. They re-named the Look East Policy into Act East Policy but the special category status given to some States including Manipur has been removed.

BJP State Unit leaders in Ukhrul, urge people to support party

The Sangai Express

Ukhrul, October 06 2016: BJP’s primary objectives are to free the State from corruption, bring changes in the governance system and ensure overall development, stated ex-Minister Dr Khashim. Speaking at the one-day political awareness camp held at Phungcham village community hall, Ukhrul, BJP intending candidate from 45 Chingai constituency Dr Khashim Ruivah dwelt on BJP policies on developmental programmes and stated that the party is committed to focus on marginalized weaker section which is truly based on transparency and accountability.

He urged the villagers to support BJP and the party a chance to form a Government in the State in order to bring social changes. He also reaffirmed BJP’s commitment to resolve the Indo- Naga issue at the earliest and said that BJP is not an anti- Naga party as alleged by some people. He further stated that in 1997, the NDA Govt had signed a cease fire agreement with the NSCN-IM with an aim to resolve the issue through political dialogue.

While Dr RK Rajan, chairman of BJP Vision Document 2020 said under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, many ambitious developmental schemes have been taken up for the marginalized rural people. He further mentioned that Dr Khashim is well known for his allegiance to the party and is among the few senior leaders who have good future prospects. More than 200 villagers including leaders of student union, youth organisations and women bodoes, village leaders, BJP workers of neighbouring villages like Halang, Paorei and Varanglai attended the programme.

An interaction session was also held with the functionaries of BJP State Unit. The village leaders apprised the functionaries of BJP State Unit of the deplorable situation of Phungcham PHC. BJP State leaders said that the dilapidated inter-village road was the reason of late late arrival and added that the matter will be highlighted to BJP leaders at the Centre for necessary intervention.

The public also raised a question on the much-talked alliance of BJP and NPF. BJP State leaders clarified that there is no pre-poll alliance between the two and the postpoll alliance would only be decided by BJP high command.

Cong MLA inaugurates community hall

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 6

Congress MLA Dr I Ibohalbi inaugurated a newly built community hall at Ngaikhong Khunou, Oinam in Bishnupur district today. Speaking at the inaugural function, Dr Ibohalbi said that the community hall measuring 70 feet in length and 70 feet in breadth was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 18 lakh.

He further said that the construction was done in phase wise manner. The MLA announced that a water reservoir will be constructed by investing around Rs 15 crore to supply potable water to the people of the village.  A DPR for the construction was submitted to the DoNER Ministry and NEC to seek approval of the project, he said. He also declared that there is a plan to construct a public ground at Ngaikhong Khonou considering its strategic location.

Dr Ibohalbi appealed to the villagers to support Congress party in the forthcoming State Assembly Election.

BJP protest-march against Speaker’s ‘abuse’ of power

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 6

A protest rally was held today against alleged abuse of constitutional power by the Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly. It was organised by the state unit of BJP along with its workers and supporters. The protest rally was attended by MLA Joykishan, Th Chaoba, Ashnikumar, Joykumar, Bishwajit, RK Shivachandra among others.  The rally denounced the Speaker’s delay of passing verdict on disqualification cases.

 The protest rally kick-off from Khagempalli Huidrom Leikai Yumjao Leimerbi Lampak around 11 in the morning which culminated at the state BJP party office. Later, five representatives from BJP Manipur Pradesh Th Chaoba, Ashnikumar, Joykumar, Joykishan and Bishwajit submitted a memorandum to the Governor, through her secretary. The memorandum highlighted on the ‘unfair’ verdict passed by the Speaker on disqualification cases.

 More than 500 members of the BJP Manipur unit took part in the mass protest rally. Placard condemning the unfair verdict of the speaker were displayed during the protest rally. Talking to reporters while coming out of the Raj Bhavan premise, former state BJP president Th Chaoba accused the Speaker of Manipur Assembly of abusing the 1Oth Schedule of the Constitution.

“Cases of disqualification under 10th Schedule of the Constitution are very common in other states of the country. However, the cases are usually resolved within six months. In Manipur, the Speaker takes more than a year if the cases are not in favour of the ruling Congress”, he asserted. Disqualification cases filed in 2014 against five MSCP MLAs who joined Congress and one LJP MLA are still pending, they were allowed to join the ruling Congress and the Speaker takes no action till date, he alleged, adding that the Speaker’s biased attitude was exposed further when he kept his judgment reserved for a prolonged period.

MLA Joykishan said that BJP Manipur Pradesh will continue to protest against the Speaker with a series of dharnas at party’s mandal level across the 60 Assembly constituencies of the state.  BJP would not remain silent to the unethical conduct of the Speaker, he added. Hundreds of people coming from different constituencies of the state took part in the protest rally.

Hemochandra plays down Biren exit

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 7

Forest and Environment minister Irengbam Hemochandra today played down the resignation of senior party legislators from the party and said despite their leaving, he is confident the Congress will not be weakened in the state. Hemochandra told media persons the party is hopeful that some political leaders will also be joining the party soon.

Reacting to the resignation of Nongthombam Biren Singh from both the party and the state Assembly, the minister said Biren is an individual who has worked wholeheartedly for the state. We have worked together on several state issues, Hemochandra said, and added, however, his decision to leave the party and join another is altogether his choice and the party has nothing to do with it.

At the same time, the people will soon witness solutions of some burning issues of the state, he said. However, people have to understand that a state issue cannot be solved in a short period of time and that finding solution takes time because the government has to look into every aspect of the issue before deciding on anything, he said.

The government, he said, understands the people’s aspiration and trying hard to solve all issues at the earliest to bring development and welfare in the state. Hemochandra was speaking to media persons on the sideline of the renovation and dedication ceremony of Lamjao Pukhri of Singjamei Chingamakha. The function was organised by Renovation Committee of Lamjao Pukhri.

Hemochandra, who is also the local MLA, said the pond is important for the people of the area as it provides water during times of water scarcity. Renovation of the pond, he said, was taken up following demands from the people.

Seminar on human rights and electoral politics in Manipur

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 7

A one-day national seminar on the topic “Human Rights and Electoral Politics in Manipur” organised by the Centre for Human Rights and Duties Education, Manipur Education was held today at the Tribal Research Institute Conference Hall, Chingmeirong, Imphal.

The inaugural function was attended by former dean of School of Social Sciences, Manipur University professor Ksh Bimola Devi, co-ordinator of Centre for Human Rights and Duties Education, MU Gaikhamsin Riamei and former head of department of Audio Visual Research Centre, MU Arambam Lokendra as the chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.

Speaking at the function, Bimola said people should try to understand the ideologies of the political parties and the candidates who are going to contest in the election in order to choose their right candidates. She also urged the voters of the state to exercise their political rights in a positive manner and discourage the negative trend of money power and muscle power in the forthcoming state Assembly election.

Delivering his presidential address, Gaikhamsin said human rights is universal irrespective of caste, creed, sex, religion and nationality of a person. Resource persons spoke on various topics related to human rights and electoral politics in the seminar.

In the first technical session of the seminar, associate professor of department of political science, GP Women’s College Binarani Devi spoke on “Women’s Rights and Party Politics in Manipur” and associate professor of department of political science, Maharaja Bodhachandra College Homen Thangjam and All Manipur Tribals’ Union general secretary Romeo Bungdon spoke on “Human Rights Violation and Discrimation during Elections”, assistant professor, department of social work, ICNTU-regional campus Manipur Sukhdeba Sharma Hanjabam and assistant professor, department of English, Tripura University  Ksh Premchandra Singh spoke on “Its a Man’s World: Women’s Rights and Electoral Rhetoric in Manipur”, faculty member of Centre for Human Rights and Duties Education, MU M Sureshkumar Singh and assistant professor of Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy Thathang Vaiphei spoke on “Political Exclusion and Political Rights: A case study of ADC in Manipur.”

In the second technical session of the seminar faculty member of Centre for Human Rights and Duties Education, MU Reena Laitonjam spoke on “Democracy, Elections and Human Rights in Manipur”, faculty member of Centre for Human Rights and Duties Education, MU O Jitendra Singh and assistant professor of Centre for Tribal Studies, ICNTU-regional campus Manipur Immanuel Varte spoke on “Repersentative Democracy In Manipur: Myth or Reality,” assistant  professor of department of history, GP Women’s College Nalini Nongmeithem spoke on “Free and Fair Election in Manipur: Issues and Challenges during ADC Election, 2015” and co-ordinator of Centre for Human Rights and Duties Education, MU Gaikhamsin Riamei spoke on “Electrol Behaviour of Tamenglong District in Manipur State Legislative Assembly Elections.”

ABVP seeks HRD min’s intervention in resolving MU impasse

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL I October 7

Condemning the burning down of structures at Manipur University campus by unknown persons on October 3 night, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) Manipur has sought Union Human Resource Development  minister Prakash Javadekar’s intervention in resolving the present crisis in the university. Addressing a press meet at Manipur Press Club here today, state secretary of ABVP Manipur Narendra Sapam urged the university authority to revoke the decision on total shutdown of the university and restore normal classes and other academic activities at the earliest.

He said that closure of the classes is not the solution to the contentious issue of reservation of seats in admission. He demanded the Academic Council of the university to put an end to the controversy and start the admission process without any further delay. The ongoing protest by various students’ groups on the issue of seat reservation in admission in different departments has greatly affected the academic atmosphere in the university. The university authority has failed to reach an amicable solution to the issue thus delaying the admission process by about three months, he rued.

Reiterating that repeated pleas had been made to the university authority to resume classes but all went in vain, Narendra said that ABVP was compelled to approach the Union HRD minister on October 2 last when the latter was in Imphal. A memorandum was submitted to the Union minister requesting him to intervene into the crisis in the university and help resolve the issue, he added.

He maintained that after the arson at the university on October 3, ABVP had to write another letter to the HRD minister on October 4 requesting his immediate intervention. Stating that the ABVP will also apprise Governor of the state, Dr Najma Heptullah about the unrest at the university, he said that the organisation will keep on seeking intervention of the Union HRD minister till some concrete actions are taken towards resolving the crisis.

The ABVP had also urged the concerned authority to appoint regular Vice-Chancellor and Registrar of the university at the earliest in the interest of the students, he mentioned. Students are the future of the nation therefore their future cannot be put at stake at any cost. ABVP will always stand for the welfare of the students and keep on pressing the university authority till the demands are met through various forms of agitation and other democratic means, he added.

Free and fair election discussion held

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 7

A one-day discussion cum public meeting on “Free and fair election in Manipur” organised by the Peoples’ Committee for Free and Fair Election in Manipur was held today at the Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul, Imphal. Senior advocate Kh Mani, CPI leader M Nara Singh, retired Lieutenant Colonel T Hemo Singh, vice-presidents of Senior Citizen for Society (SCS) RV Mingthing and Nepram Bihari and general secretary of SCS L Sadananda attended the discussion cum meeting as presidium members.

Speaking to media persons after the public meeting, Mani said the meeting unanimously resolved to appeal to the prospective intending candidates of the 2017 general election to stop luring voters with money and election time repairing and construction works in their constituencies with an eye to garner some votes. He said other resolutions included to make an appeal to all not to resort to holding vote related grand feast and picnic parties in the name of social service and helping the people. He said a 13-member working committee of the organisation with himself as the convenor and retired Lt Col T Hemo and Mutum Churamani Singh as co-convenors was also formed. He said Ak Sanaton, Chinglen Maisnam, S Lemba, Chingtam Luwang, Md Rabi Khan, L Heramot Singh and L Ibohal Singh have also been selected as members of the working committee.

NPF welcomes former Congress leaders

Imphal Free Press

UKHRUL | October 8

The Naga People’s Front, NPF, Ukhrul Division warmly welcomed AS Shimreiyo, former MLA candidate, former president of district Congress Committee, Somi Sareo, senior party worker AS Aping in a reception held at Ukhrul Town Hall today. Around 700 people including Hongreikhui Kashung, NPF Manipur Unit general secretary, NPF Manipur Unit Youth president, NPF aspiring candidates Hopingson, Khashim Vashum, ADC members,  well-wishers, elders, NPF Area units presidents, EMs, party workers attended the reception program.

Welcoming the new entrants and their workers to its fold, Mr Zako, NPF vice president, Manipur in-charge, Central office Kohima said, “The homecoming of new party workers will strengthen the party and shall further the cause of the people”, and expressed hope that NPF will do well in the ensuing State election to present their issue to the Centre and also in the Manipur assembly. Acknowledging that Nagas have a lot of problems, he called upon the people to work hand-in-hand for their sake and for the sake of their children.

He continued NPF is an issue based party which works for the interests of the Naga people and to protect and promote its land and resources and added that they are committed to pursue protracted Naga political problem so that an amicable solution is arrived between government of India and NSCN. In their opening remarks,  Wungnaoshang A Shimray, president NPF Ukhrul division and MH Moon, president NPF 44-Ukhrul area unit lauded the giant step taken by the new entrants for the good of the people and party while thanking one and all for making a meaningful gathering.

Expressing his gratitude, former Congress leader, Shimreiyo said, “Even as I have joined much political party before, in my entire political career I have never seen such a massive response. The love of the people is truly remarkable”. He assured that they will serve the party with utmost sincerity and allegiance. Yaronso Ngalung, Chairman ADC Ukhrul spoke on framework agreement and Article 371 C with special focus on Hills Area Committee, while Paul Muinao, vice president, NPF Manipur unit and Khamun Mashangva spoke on the essence of their coming together as one.

Taking a dig at Congress and BJP, Samuel Risom, MLA resigned said, at this point of time this two parties are not good for us because they are all out to distort our rights and history and usurp our resources. Yangmi R Shimray, general secretary, NPF Ukhrul division moderated the program, while Ruichumhao Shimrah, Viewland Baptist Church pastor and Stephen Angkang, advisor NPF Ukhrul Divn invoked the opening and dinner blessing.

MDPF demands elimination of NOTA

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | Oct 8

Manipur Democratic People’s Front, MDPF has submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India asking to elimination of None of the Above, NOTA in ballot paper. In a memorandum signed by MDPF president and Coordinator North East regional Parties Front, NERPF coordinator Gurumayum Tonsana Sharma said that the inclusion of NOTA in ballot paper for electioneering process in India is deemed to reduce democracy into a mockery.

The memorandum continued that NOTA is a stigma to democracy and there may be a time when it gets a majority. It urged the Prime Minister office to advice the department concerned to consider the elimination of NOTA before the ensuing elections of Manipur and other four states.

Four hurt in poll-related violence

The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 08 2016: At least four persons were injured apart from damages to  one Bolero jeep and an A-Star car in a poll related violence that took place at Keirao Makting Makha Leikai yesterday. Speaking to media persons today, Md Nasiruddin alias Bothoi who is preparing to contest the forthcoming Assembly election on BJP ticket said that he and a group of supporters were going to Keirao Makting Makha Leikai in three vehicles to hold a camera meeting .

As they approached the meeting venue, they were allegedly blocked by a group of people who were said to be supporters of MI Khan. The next moment, the group was attacked by the alleged supporters of MI Khan and the assailants also started opening fire randomly. Nasiruddin said that four of his supporters were injured in the attack and two vehicles were damaged.

Saying that he has lodged a complaint at Irilbung police station regarding the attack, Nasiruddin maintained that it is a democratic right to hold public meetings and he cannot be intimidated by violence. With the State scheduled to go for polls in the early part of next year, campaigning has started at almost all the Assembly Constituencies with many intending candidates seeking support.

ABVP protests

The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 08 2016: Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)  staged a sit-in-protest in front of Manipur University gate today demanding revocation of the total shutdown of Manipur University. Speaking to media persons at a sideline of the protest , ABVP president Sapam Narendra said the parishad strongly condemn the burning of some structure inside the university by miscreants.

The ongoing chaos over the reservation issue has hampered the academic atmosphere in the university.

The admission procedures into the university have been delayed for about three months owing to the indecisiveness of the MU authorities, he stated. He has further appealed to the MU authorities to bring a tangible solution to the ongoing problem. MU authorities cannot suppress the reservation issue by imposing a total shutdown of the university, Narendra said while appealing the authorities to revoke the shutdown.

O Joy slams Congress Govt; says BJP is the only party that can save North East

Imphal Times

Imphal, October 08 2016: Veteran politician, now spokesperson of BJP, O.Joy lambasted congress rule in the region saying that the party has brought miseries to the north eastern states putting it 36% less developed from the rest of the Indian states.

Speaking on the one day booth level Sammelan of Naoriya Pakhang Lakpa Assembly Constituency organized by Election Committee of K.Manoranjan Singh at his residence at Konjeng Leikai, O Joy said that after the coming of BJP led NDA government at the center, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has introduced various developmental schemes and project to develop the North East states as he knows that India cannot develop without developing the North East states.

“BJP is the only political party that can make a better north east India”, Okram Joy said. He further added that every citizen should consider their voting right as the most powerful weapon for a healthier society. If a doctor or engineer made a mistake, a few section of people might suffer but if a politician makes mistake than whole society will be in jeopardize.

So we the citizen should think twice before choosing a candidate to cast vote.� “The steps taken up by the BJP government for the development of Manipur and the dream to bring social changes in the state will not be possible without people support. So support BJP to bring a bright future of the society” he added.

CM negates Javadekar’s assertion on Imp-Jiri line

The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 08 2016: Expressing complete astonishment over Union HRD Minister ‘s Prakash Javadekar’s statement that the State Government did not cooperate with BRO in the construction work of Imphal-Jiribam highway, Chief Minister O Ibobi has negated the same statement. He was speaking at a one-day political conference held today at Mayang Imphal Imoinu Market complex.

Ibobi accused BJP of churning volumes and volumes of lies and falsehood with an ulterior motive to befool the people of Manipur. At one point of time, the State Government made a proposal to take over Imphal-Jiribam highway from BRO but the same proposal was rejected by the Government of India.

On enquiring about the BRO’s failure to repair the dilapidated sections of the highway, BRO officials said  that they have already sent the DPR and other documents for repairing the highway to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

They maintained that the highway repairing work has been delayed as MoRTH has not yet released the necessary fund. The situation will not change even if the State Government takes over the highway from BRO because MoRTH is not releasing necessary funds. He went on to ask if the BJP Government has fulfilled its promise of bringing back black money stashed in foreign countries.

BJP State election management committee convenor Th Chaoba was saying that construction of National Sports University was delayed due to land related controversies because he did not have full knowledge about the matter. Even as the Sports Ministry was asking just 200 acres of land, the State Government gave them 400 acres for the sports university.

There is a litigation concerning a very small portion. Construction of the sports university could have started months back after leaving out the small portion of land currently under litigation, Ibobi stated. As it would take time to develop a fully equipped permanent complex for the sports university, the State Government asked the Ministry to commence the university’s session at SAI complex or Khuman Lampak Sports Complex temporarily.

Although a Bill need to be passed for establishment of the sports university, no such Bill has been tabled in the Parliament, Ibobi stated. Trying to allay people’s fear that the flow of Central fund to the State will slow down since BJP has assumed power at the  Centre, the Chief Minister asserted that the BJP Government has no authority to withhold any fund which is entitled to the State of Manipur.

All the development works and welfare programmes taken up by the Congress Government during the past 15 years would be informed to the people in phase manner. Ibobi went on to say that people ought to support Congress party if there must be peace and stability in Manipur. Education and Transport Minister Dr Kh Ratankumar  said that BJP has been working relentlessly to form a Hindu Rajya in spite of their claim of being secular.

Pot shots at Cong

The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 08 2016: With election fever spreading steadily across the State, former Minister and State BJP vice president M Hemanta took pot shots at the Congress and declared that the Congress is on its last leg, especially after the desertion by two of its senior MLAs, Y Erabot and N Biren. The desertion by the two senior MLAs is ample testimony that nothing is right within the Congress, said Hemanta at a public meeting organised by the BJP Mahila Morcha at Chingtham.

Apart from these two blows, the Congress may receive the third blow from the very district from where Chief Minister O Ibobi hails from, said Hemanta. The Congress party which is about to complete its third term in office this year, is today on life support, said Hemanta and predicted that the Congress will be uprooted from power in the coming Assembly election.

CM prods health staffs to treat patients with affection

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 8

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh today urged all medical staffs to show sympathy and to take good care of their patients. He was speaking as the chief guest at the 21st Association of Surgeons of India (ASI) Manipur Conference 2016 held today at the JNIMS auditorium after inaugurating the annual conference.

The Chief Minister said someone who is committed or determined to do something will always achieve his goal to an extent if not 100 percent. He said we may borrow money and utilise it for a purpose, we may bring in human resource to work for us, but we cannot own someone else’s expertise. Renowned professors from other parts of the country are apprehensive of working in the North Eastern region, he said. He also lauded the teachers of the region saying all the human resources in the state are products of the local professors.

“N Biren was a failed representative”

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | October 8

Resigned Heingang MLA Nongthombam Biren’s opponent in the 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly election N Ratan Meitei alias Kapu took a jibe at the resigned MLA today saying he had totally failed to carry out the responsibilities of being a people’s representative. Kapu was speaking at the blessing ceremony organised by nagaram Youth, Imphal East at the premises of the Eagle High School.

The people of Heingang have been facing shortages of PDS items, lack of health facilities, education and other basic needs for long, he said, and further alleged Biren of siphoning off public money in the name of developmental works. Biren is someone who thinks of himself, he said asserting that Biren had failed to work for the welfare of his people during his time as the local MLA. He continued Heingang has a huge potential for development and growth, but it all depends on who the people chose as their representative in the next election.

He further appealed to the people attending the function to chose their representative wisely so that the constituency be showered with the light of growth, development and peace. Kapu also stressed on the need for a state language policy.

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