Chapter 28

Rally against drug, corruption staged

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 26 2016: As various groups and organisations of the State continue to launch extensive campaigns against drugs and corruption, a rally was taken out by BJP, Moreh Committee and BJP (ST) Morcha in and around Moreh today. Organised under the initiative of BJP intending candidate from Tengnoupal AC H Sokhopao Mate, the rally was joined by around 500 people.

A public meeting was also held. Speaking at the programme, H Sokhopao Mate said that youth should take an active role in order to bring better changes in the society. For pave the way for such changes, social evils should be first wiped out.

CM O Ibobi flags off ambulances

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 26 2016: Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh today flagged off 11 ambulances handed over to various Manipur State Heath Department Centres, PHCs and CHCs of Manipur by Power Grid under its Corporate Social Responsibility scheme at Kangla. Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam as well as several other dignitaries were also present at the programme.

Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh appreciated Power Grid, a Navratna company, for its initiatives and express hope such the company will continue to undertake such initiatives for the welfare of the society. Abhay Choudhury, Executive Director of Power Grid, North Eastern Region Transmission System (NERTS) stated that under the CSR scheme, various activities for the welfare of the society have been undertaken in the State and other initiatives are also under process.

NPF condemns

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 26 2016: The Naga People’s Front, Manipur State Unit, has strongly condemned the arrest of Gaidon Kamei, president of the United Naga Council (UNC) along with information secretary Stephan Sangkhil at Pheidinga on November 25. The NPF called an emergency sitting in the late evening yesterday where the present law and order situation in the State was discussed, a statement informed.

The party, while demanding immediate and unconditional release of the UNC leaders, has appealed to the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister to solve the present imbroglio amicably and bring normalcy to the State. The party charged the ruling Government of not solving any issue in time.

NPF, in the statement, also condemned the alleged physical assault on Stephen Sangkhil. The problem, the NPF said, cannot be solved by arresting UNC leaders. The situation may worsen if the Government fails to handle the situation justly, it said. The party has further appealed to all sections of the people to maintain peace and tranquillity in the State.

ADC councillors pressure govt on SH demand

Imphal Free Press

KANGPOKPI | November 26

The 20 Congress councillors of ADC Sadar Hills who tendered a mass resignation and formed an alliance party in the name of Sadar Hills Democratic Party on November 18, convened a joint meeting for the first time today at LNC Hotel, Kangpokpi. The party in its joint meeting unanimously decided to pressure the state government to declare Sadar Hills a full-fledged district at the earliest and also condemned in the strongest term the torching of a Nepali house at Poudel Basti on November 16.

The joint meeting was attended by SHDP Leader Haokholal Hangshing, deputy leader Thangjakam Misao, secretary Thongjalun Mate and spokesperson Lunthang Haokip apart from other members. Briefing media persons at the LNC Hotel Kangpokpi, SHDP spokesperson Lunthang Haokip said they have unanimously resolved to pressure the Congress government led by Okram Ibobi Singh to declare Sadar Hills into a full-fledged district at the earliest considering the long suffering of the people and the monumental facts based on the Parliament Act, 1971.

ECI officials monitor poll preparadness in CcP

Imphal Free Press


Joint secretary attached to the office of the Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Agarwal and Election Commission of India consultant Dr Aarti Agarwal today visited Churachandpur and took stock of the district administration’s election preparedness. A music CD composed by the DC Lunminthang Haokip on election preparation to accommodate the disabled (according to CEC guidelines) was also released during the function. The song “God loves you all the more” penned by the DC was released at the B Vengnom Community Hall.

Blessing for intending BJP candidate held

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | Nov 26

A blessing ceremony of BJP aspiring candidate for Tamenglong (ST) Khangthuanang Panmei was held today his residence at Namlalong Ward 2 at Tamenglong Headquarter. The ceremony was held inspite of the total shutdown called in Naga areas in protest against the arrest of Gaidon Kamei president of UNC after obtaining consent from the local leaders of Naga frontal organisations.

UNC chief Gaidon arrested
Nagas erupt in anger, shut down market places

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL|November 25

State police arrested president of United Naga Council (UNC) Gaidon Kamei (52) and information secretary Sankhui Stephan (36) from Pheidinga in Imphal West at 11.15 this morning. Police said Gaidon Kamei and Sankhui Stephan were arrested while they were coming in a Bolero car at Pheidinga. He was charged with causing disturbances and damaging public properties during the ongoing blockade. But, the details of the sections under which he is booked could not be confirmed. According to a highly reliable source, police were tipped off about the presence of the Gaidon and his plan to travel along the highway.

Cong protests Modi money

Imphal Free Press


Congress party today took out a rally against Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation and subsequent sufferings faced by the people in the state. The march taken out in Imphal city was led by party president T N Haokip.

CM inaugurates Kurao Pokpi Industrial Estate

Imphal Free Press

THOUBAL | November 25

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has said the government alone cannot solve the unemployment issue in the state. Addressing the inaugural function of the Industrial Estate at Kurao Pokpi, Kakching in Thoubal district today, the Chief Minister said it is impossible for the government alone to give employment to each and every educated unemployed youth in the state. In order to solve the unemployment problem, we have to support private entrepreneurs, he said, and added that it is one of his government’s main priority. He said the industrial estate is constructed with funding from the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and North East Council by the state Commerce and Industries department.

Factoring demonetization

Imphal Free Press Editorial
25 November 2016

Is demonetization going to be a factor in the coming assembly elections in some states including Uttar Pradesh and Manipur? This is a major question haunting the political parties and political pundits in the last few days. Many had initially praised the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his stated mission to weed out black money and corruption, but the implementation part and the fallout arising out of extremely slow replacement of old notes with new notes is taking its toll on the common populace.

The opposition parties are up in arms in both Parliament and the streets. Old enemies are coming together to give stiff opposition to demonetization while BJP is trying to defend itself by dubbing the opposing parties as black money hoarders. Both houses of Parliament have not been functioning since it began, due to relentless disruptions by opposition parties over the demonetization issue. Some pundits say, through demonetization Modi is trying to cripple some opposition parties who functions on ‘black money’ and at the same time expand its base to the poorer sections of society by hurting the rich and corrupt. But, it is not yielding the desired result. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is not doing enough to suitably replace the old notes with new ones to bring normalcy in the market.

The bank employees are up in arms against the RBI Governor Urijit Patel even as they continue to be mobbed and harassed by angry customers. Yet, they continue to work on holidays and burns midnight oil to settle the days account for conducting the next day. The patience of the common man is running out and ATMs in fringe states like Manipur dispensing ‘worthless’ Rs 2000 notes are running out of cash quickly.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation is turning the economy upside down and creating chaos BJP leaders continue to defend him. Yet the question remains, are they really speaking from the heart. The way Modi and Amit Shah functions everyone even within the party is afraid to speak out and faced the guillotine. One thing is sure, PM Narendra Modi is speaking from his heart as he was the one who took the ultimate decision. But, RBI was caught napping as it could not ensure a rapid cash flow in the market to match Modi’s surprise announcement of demonetization of higher value currencies. It has been reported that printing of the new notes began only two months before the announcement of demonetization. And it will take four/five months more to print new Rs 2000 and Rs 500 notes and another few months to print new notes in smaller denominations to adequately replace the old ones which were in circulation earlier.

So, the question whether demonetization is going to be factor in the ensuing assembly elections, immediately springs up. Its victory in three of the six states in the recently held by-elections is being touted by the BJP as a vote in favour of demonetization. We have West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee crying foul of the demonetization move. Yet her party Trinamool Congress won the Coochbehar and Tamluk Lok Sabha seats by a huge margin of nearly five lakh votes and the Monteswar Assembly seat by 1.27 lakh votes. On the other hand West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh cites the increase in vote share to claim that people have showed their support towards the decision of demonetization. The story of by-elections is that, it usually tends to go the ruling party way. Of the 120 by-elections held since 2014, 84 of them were won by the ruling party. In 2016, the ruling parties were victorious in 20 of them and only 7 of them were won by the opposition side. Tamil Nadu by-elections stand as a case in point, as the ruling party AIADMK has swept the by-elections continuously since 2011.

So, one cannot unequivocally say that the by-election victories were an authentication of decision to withdraw the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes or for that matter any other policy. But, if the present chaotic situation of cash crunch continues to linger for some more months it will certainly have some effect in the ensuing assembly elections, as the poor and the common people are suffering with no hope of relief in the near future.

N Biren defends Rajnath on blockade impasse

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 24

BJP Manipur spokesperson Nongthombam Biren today rebuked the state government for its failure to place a concrete proposal as to how the state wants the Centre to act on the problems arising out of the UNC indefinite blockade. Former MLA of Heingang constituency N Biren recently left Congress to join BJP. He however congratulated the Chief Minister for at least submitting a memorandum to the centre on the current impasse.

Briefing media persons today at the BJP office Biren defended the Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh and said, since law and order is a state subject a proposal from the state is necessary before any intervention from the Centre. He said, immediately after state BJP leaders briefed him on the situation in the state the Home Minister convened a meeting with his officials including interlocutor RN Ravi yesterday and discussed the ongoing economic blockade imposed along the national highways in the state.

Congress protests Modi’s demonetisation

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 24

The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee staged a sit in protest against Prime Minister’s demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes at BT Road in front of the Congress Bhavan today. Party president TN Haokip who also participated in the demonstration said that the demonetisation of the old notes has given much hardship to the poorer sections of the society including farmers, small scale entrepreneurs among others.

It has also paralysed smaller businesses and the economy of the country, he lamented. The MPCC president also said that it is learnt from the comments of various experts and economists that the act will affect two percent of the GDP growth of the country. Not only is it affecting the country’s economy, but it will also affect the global economy and market, he said adding that if it is the right way to fight black market, then we welcome it, but it has turned out to be total madness.

Such similar steps could have been implemented during the time of the UPA government which had great economists like the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram, however, the party had drop any such idea after considering all its adverse effects, he claimed. Now, many innocent people have lost their lives due to the demonetisation process, he rued.

Protect Manipur campaign

Imphal Free Press

Manipur Peoples’ Party, MPP begins its Protect Manipur campaign rally which will cover all the districts of Manipur. The rally was flagged-off today  by MPP president N Sovakiran from its office at Imphal. All the senior vice-presidents, chairman of the campaign committee, vice-presidents, general secretaries of the party and the members of Women Committee, Central Committee, Youth Front, Chanura Lup took part in the rally. The rally was taken through the Bishnupur district with street meeting at the markets of Ningthoukhong, Nambol and Kwakta.

JAC-PLAL refutes Kpi AC MLA over Poudel Basti issue

Imphal Free Press


Strongly rebutting the statement of Kangpokpi A/C MLA Nemcha Kipgen over the Poudel Basti in Irang Part-I incident, the Joint Action Committee for Protection of Liangmei Ancestral Land (JAC-PLAL) said that the local MLA is offering the tribal land to absorb Nepali voters.

A press communiqué signed by the JAC-PLAL convener, T Disimang stated that the MLA’s statement made during her visit to Poudel Basti clearly exposed her ignorance and ill intention while alleging that she is instigating hatred between the Liangmai Nagas and Nepali communities during such an aggrieved situation.

It continued that the tribal land is not something to be compromised on humanitarian ground like in hospitals which the local MLA being a tribal representative must understand and avoid interfering on tribal land issue which will be of serious danger.

Since Nepalese pay grazing tax to the government, the land they settle in belongs to them, likewise the tribal land also belongs to the government as they pay house tax recalled the JAC as the MLA saying and added that ignorant representatives like the Kpi AC MLA is the reason putting the whole tribal rights at stake.

CM, Dy CM inaugurate industrial estate

The Sangai Express

Bishnupur, November 24 2016: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi and Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam today, inaugurated the Industrial Estate at Tera Urak, our correspondent reports. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi laid the foundation stone for the construction of the estate on June 9, 2015.The Industrial Estate was built with the funding of NEC and MSME. About 20.65 crores were spent in the construction of the Industrial Estate that has a total of 27 stalls.

Commerce and Industries Minister Govindas Konthoujam; Parliamentary Secretary YAS & Tourism M Prithivraj Singh; Kumbi AC MLA S Bira; Nambol AC MLA N Loken Singh; Oinam AC MLA I Ibohalbi Singh; Advisor of NEC Gautam Chintey; Director of Commerce & Industries B Langtinkhuma; Bishnupur DC M Harekrishna and staff as well as Bishnupur and Ningthoukhong Municipal Council Councillors attended the inaugural function.

Maoist Warns BJP of Welcoming Peoples’ Enemy

Imphal Times

Imphal, Nov 24: Rebel group Maoist Communist Party Manipur (MCPM) has warned the BJP of allowing entries of people who are declared as enemy of the people. In a press communiqué the MCPM said that if such people of the enemy were welcome by the BJP then the MCPM  will not remain as a silent spectators. The outfit stated that the indigenous people of the state we tried to wipe out to complete extinction during the Congress regime by killing numbers of common people in fake encounter. 

It said, even the Supreme Court has sought an enquiry on the fake killings of around 1528 people. The MCPM alleged that the BJP seems to be quite concern in giving entries and allowing to hold posts to those executioners and individuals who were also responsible for such killings and crimes during the Congress regime. The MCPM statement said that the people of Manipur still remembered that it was during the tenure of Congress government that the then DGP Yumnam Joykumar had initiated many killings and fake encounters under his command.

The tears of the people whose loved ones were killed under the command of the then DGP Yumnam Joykumar are still lingering from the eyes and not completely wiped out, the statement added.

CM Ibobi accuses Rajnath of double standards

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 23

The Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has accused the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh of double standards, if he at all conveyed to state BJP leaders that he did not receive any concrete proposal from him regarding the UNC economic blockade. Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh clarified on the reported statement of Rajnath  Singh during a press conference at CM secretariat conference hall today.

Chief Minister said since November 1 when the state was celebrating Ningol Chakouba and Kut, UNC imposed an indefinite economic blockade and the blockade is still in force. The indefinite economic blockade has led to shortage of essential commodities in the state including petroleum products.

During this hard time, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has also demonetised higher value currency notes in the country which added more hardship to what the economic blockade already caused to the ordinary people. Chief Minister mentioned that Prime Minister of India on November 9 proposed in a letter to provide adequate security for all the bank branches of the state. The same message was relayed from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the evening of the very day.

Taking advantage of the situation Chief Minister said that he requested him to intervene on the economic blockade since safe passage on national highways is the concern of the central government. O Ibobi mentioned that during his 45 minute meet with the home minister he mainly dwelt on the UNC blockade issues. Who is behind the UNC is an open secret, said state chief Minister, and he further mentioned that in this regard NSCN-IM interlocutor RN Ravi has even telephoned him twice. ‘NSCN I-M is in ceasefire with Government of India and though intervention from MHA is very much needed to call-off the economic blockade immediately’ mentioned in the letter to Union Home Minister by State Chief Minister.

Dictates from any organisation, be it NSCN I-M or any other organisation will not be entertained for creation of separate revenue district. Creation of new revenue district is purely for administrative convenience, said O Ibobi Singh and added that it will be under the strictly state government purview.

CM refutes BJP’s claim, sets record straight

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 23 2016: Chief Minister O Ibobi has strongly refuted the claims made by the BJP Manipur Pradesh in some leading newspapers that the State Govt did not make any concrete proposal for Central assistance regarding the ongoing indefinite economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC) since November 1.

Addressing media persons today at the CM’s conference hall this evening, he stated the indefinite economic blockade imposed by the UNC on Imphal-Dhimapur National Highway has severely affected all sections of the State’s population.

The situation has been worsened by the Central Government’s move of demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. Following the demonetization move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the State Government on November 9 to provide adequate security to all banks in the State, Ibobi conveyed.

CM flags off Imphal leg of friendship car rally

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 23

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh flagged off the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Friendship Car Rally from Hotel Classic Grande, Imphal this morning. Wishing the participants of the rally a happy and safe journey, the Chief Minister expressed that such a car rally would definitely help in strengthening the relationship between India and the South East Asian countries.

He also said that this rally would give a wide range of experience while travelling from Delhi to Moreh via Imphal and then up to the final destination Bangkok (Thailand) through Myanmar. He also thanked the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of DoNER and other Ministries of Government of India for supporting the rally.

Act or resign, JCILPS warns Congress

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 23

The Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System has warned the state government to either pass the Inner Line Permit bill immediately or face severe forms of agitation. Speaking to media persons at their office, JCILPS co-convenor BK Moirangcha warned the government to either pass the bill or resign.

He continued during a meeting convened by the Chief Minister with representatives of the JCILPS on October 7, the CM had promised to the JCILPS that a special assembly session will be convened to pass a fresh ILP bill before imposition of the election code of conduct. He said that the JCILPS was invited by the Chief Minister following its intense agitation demanding implementation of the ILPS.

The meeting was also attended by the state cabinet ministers. He said following the assurance from the leader of the state, the JCILPS had suspended its agitation, however, the state government is yet to fulfill its assurance.

Dr Meinya to UNC Call off economic blockade

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 23 2016: Inner Manipur MP Dr Thokchom Meinya has asked the UNC to immediately call off the economic blockade. He has also demanded a 24×7 protection of National Highways. Inner Manipur MP Dr Thokchom Meinya at the Lok Sabha today said, “There has been an ongoing economic blockade at National Highways of Manipur called by the United Naga Council (UNC) since the first day of this month.

People of the State are facing insurmountable hardships. The prices of essential commodities are sky-rocketed. Petrol per litre cost more than Rs 300 and there was no stock of petrol and diesel in the State. Schools were closed for want of fuel for the school vans”.

“The situation has not improved yet. Demonetization of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes has further worsened the situation,” he said. “Economic blockade is not the right way to make our voices heard.It has created hatred among us, let us stop it.”

No proposal from Ibobi on UNC blockade: Rajnath

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 22

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had no concrete proposal for help or intervention with regard to the UNC economic blockade when he met central leaders, according to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, as relayed to state BJP leaders. A delegation of the Manipur BJP unit led by MLA Th Bishwajit met central leaders including Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the capital and briefed him on the devastating impact of the economic blockade on the people of the state.

The delegation included among others Co-Convenor of BJP Election Management Committee N Biren, Spokesperson of BJP Manipur Pradesh RK Shivachandra and Secretary (Media) BJP, Manipur Pradesh L Bashanta Sharma.

MLA Nemcha visits Poudel Basti

Imphal Free Press

KANGPOKPI | November 22

MLA Nemcha Kipgen today visited Poudel Basti in Irang Part-I under her constituency on humanitarian ground and encouraged the villagers not to panic following the unfortunate incident that occurred on November 16 night where a house belonging to the village chairman was burnt down by suspected neighbouring villagers. The Kpi AC MLA contributed rice, blankets, sugar and Rs. 20,000/- in cash to the victim family while sharing the pain and grief of the family.

The local MLA, accompanied by Irang Part-II MDC Bhumi Prasad, Executive Member ADC Sadar Hills and Milan Pradhan, ADC Sadar Hills member, inspected the house burnt down on November 16 night just nearby the Twilang (Imphal-Tamenglong) road and interacted with the villagers and the security personnel deployed in the area for security of the people. She asked the villagers to collectively put efforts in restoring the burnt house and assured to contribute GI sheets once the foundation of the house is completed.

Joy seeks upgradation of Lilong Nagar panchayat

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 22

Former minister Okram Joy urged the state government to include Lilong Nagar Panchayat among the list of nagar panchayats to be upgraded to municipal councils which is presently being considered by the government.

Speaking to media persons today at the BJP head office this evening, Joy said the Lilong Nagar Panchayat Imphal West is a historical place where Maharaj Bodhachandra had opened the inaugural stone of the Lilong Keithel in 1866. It became the Lilong Bazar Board in 1988 and was later bifurcated into Thoubal Lilong and Imphal West Lilong during the time of former chief minister Md Alimuddin, he said.

It was upgraded into the Lilong Nagar Panchayat in 1990, unfortunately it is yet to be upgraded to the level of Municipal Council, Joy said.

State BJP highlights blockade woes to Rajnath

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 22 2016: A team of BJP Manipur Pradesh today called on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and apprised him about the extreme misery being endured by all sections of people in Manipur on account of the indefinite economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC).

The team comprising of MLA Manipur Pradesh general secretary MLA Th Bishwajit, election management committee co-convenor N Biren, spokesperson RK Shivachandra and secretary (media) L Basanta urged the Union Home Minister to resolve the existing issue of economic blockade permanently. They gave a detailed account of the escalating prices of all essential commodities including petrol and potato which now cost Rs 300 per litre and Rs 70 per Kg.

BJP team inspects Moreh Hospital

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 22 2016: A team of Moreh BJP local committee and some media persons from Imphal inspected Moreh Hospital on November 17. Speaking to media persons at Moreh Trade Centre after inspecting the hospital, inspiring candidate of BJP and vice-president of BJP ST Morcha H Sokhopao Benjamin Mate has been bypassed from all development works during the last 15 years of Congress rule in the State.

H Sokhopao Benjamin Mate said that he along with Moreh BJP committee leaders, Tamil Sangam leaders and representatives of various student bodies and civil organizations made a direct assessment of the various grievances of Moreh denizens. He rued that Moreh Hospital was in a very bad shape even though local MLA D Korungthang was the State Health Minister.

NPF office inaugurated

The Sangai Express

Jiribam, November 22 2016: The Naga People’s Front (NPF), Jiribam area opened its office at Kalinagar, Jiribam, today, our correspondent reports. The inaugural function was attended by N Awangbow, president, NPF, Manipur unit; Janathan, president, NPF, Tamei area; Pousing Kamei, president, NPF, Jiri area; Hena Vaiphei, advisor, NPF Jiri area; Mathiudin Kamei, social worker; Tahemang Pamei, secretary, NPF Jiri area and Athui Dangmei, Pastor, NABC.

Committee appeals to candidates, political parties

NE Live

Nov 22, 2016

The All Manipur Muslim Organisation Coordinating Committee (AMMOCOC) has appealed to all the candidates and the political parties not to create tension among the Muslim community on the pretext of the upcoming election.

Speaking to media persons, SM Jalal, president of the committee said, ‘Recently some political parties and candidates have been funding and creating some civil societies and dragging the name of Islam and Meitei Pangal society in the petty fights and abuses between the political parties for their own benefits’.

He pointed out that due to suspicions of the hands of external forces and illegal funding involved in creating such tension among the Muslim community and also with other communities growing, AMMOCOC and its constituent organisations (United Manipur Muslim Women Development Organisation, Manipur Muslim Welfare Organisation, All Manipur Muslim Students Organisation, All Manipur Artists and Cultural Organisation and Muslim Advocates Legal Services Organisation) have come up with a resolution after a meeting.

Demonetization Killing Smaller Fish, Says Manipur CM

Northeast Today
21 Nov 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is killing smaller fish to catch big ones with the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, this was stated by Manipur Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh. He mentioned in the one day political conference of congress party at Wangkhei ground for MLA K Meghachandra on Sunday.

“The fight against black money is welcome but giving pain to common people is very unfortunate,” he opined, adding, “The lack of small currency in circulation has crossed the limits of tolerance.” Ibobi further said it is very unfortunate that BJP are playing politics on sport and culture. The site selection of the National Sport University was by the ministry team from centre. After Union minister visited to the site where their team selected at Yaithibi Loukon it mentioned low land and not suitable for university.

BJP officials suspended

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 21

Oinam Arpan who was caught while allegedly trying to extort Rs 2.5 crore from an aspiring candidate with the promise of delivering the BJP ticket for Wangkhem Assembly constituency for the 2017 state Assembly election, and three other workers of the BJP Thoubal district have been suspended from the primary membership of the party today. Addressing the media, BJP Manipur general secretary media N Nimbus said the decision to oust the four was taken during a meeting of the party office bearers chaired by the BJP Manipur president Ksh Bhabananda today.

Oinam Arpan has been suspended for his alleged involvement in the “conspiracy.” He is the son of Indira Oinam, who had contested the last parliamentary elections. She was earlier suspended from BJP. Three others Ph Bikramjit Sharma, S Mejen Singh vice-president Kishan Morcha Thoubal District and Kh Jatishor president Kishan Morcha Thoubal District have been put under suspension from the primary membership of the party with immediate effect for their alleged involvement in going to the press about the internal affairs of the party which amounts to breach of discipline of the party, according to Nimbus.

Failing to capitalise on the 2012 mandate: Unflattering sobriquet

The Sangai Express Editorial 22 November 2016 

Tough to say how history will remember Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, but the record will stand. After the Congress managed to emerge as the single largest party after the 2002 Assembly election, it has been going from strength to strength and today the man from Thoubal Assembly Constituency has managed to script a sort of history, occupying the chair of the Chief Minister for the third consecutive term and thereby becoming the man with the longest stint as the Chief Minister of the State. In the process Okram Ibobi surpassed the record held by Rishang Keishing as the longest serving Chief Minister of Manipur. The question is whether Ibobi has been able to give a new definition to what is universally understood as political stability.

In the 2012 Assembly election, Ibobi enjoyed such a positive feedback from the voters that the Congress managed to bag 42 seats out of the 60 Assembly seats. Not only this, the strength of the Congress grew to 47 after five MLAs who were elected as MSCP candidates joined the Congress en masse. So in effect the Congress had 47 MLAs (two Congress MLAs, Y Erabot and N Biren have resigned, but this is besides the point) in the House of 60 and the natural question is whether the Congress Government has been able to take any tough decision so far. This brings to mind the ongoing economic blockade imposed on the National Highways by the United Naga Council, against what it has termed the move of the State Government to grant districts status to Sadar Hills and Jiribam. The dithering continues.

This is not a case of batting for the demand to grant district status to Sadar Hills and Jiribam, but rather a commentary on how the State Government has been fiddling its thumbs on an issue (Sadar Hills) which dates back to at least three or more decades. Weak-this is the sobriquet which the JAC for Sadar Hills has used while describing the State Government and there is nothing to gloss over this. So while the present Government stands exposed as weak and unable to make up its mind and take tough decisions, it has to be admitted that the Nagas have demonstrated far sightedness in dealing with the issue.

Take a look at the reality. MoUs may be dismissed as nothing more than plain papers on which signatures are appended, but these can still be referred to as history worth looking back. It was in line with this that the Naga civil society organisations managed to extract at least four MoUs from the State Government. The first MoU was signed between the Government of Manipur and ANSAM on December 14, 1981. Another MoU followed on November 10, 1992 between GoM and NSF and yet another on September 27, 1996 between GoM and ANSAM and UNC on the other. Another such MoU was signed in the summer of 1998 between GoM and ANSAM and UNC. All the MoUs mentioned that no decision to upgrade Sadar Hills to the status of a district will be taken without consulting all stakeholders.

This was not all for in 2011, the UNC managed to extract an assurance from the Union Home Ministry that Sadar Hills will not be declared a district, without consulting all stakeholders. A case of the past haunting the present, and amid this it is disheartening to note that the Congress Govt has not been able to capitalise on the massive mandate it received in 2012.

Committee appeals to candidates, political parties

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 21 2016: The All Manipur Muslim Organisation Coordinating Committee (AMMOCOC) has appealed to all the candidates and the political parties not to create tension among the Muslim community on the pretext of the upcoming election. Speaking to media persons, SM Jalal, president of the committee said, ‘Recently some political parties and candidates have been funding and creating some civil societies and dragging the name of Islam and Meitei Pangal society in the petty fights and abuses between the political parties for their own benefits’.

He pointed out that due to suspicions of the hands of external forces and illegal funding involved in creating such tension among the Muslim community and also with other communities growing, AMMOCOC and its constituent organisations (United Manipur Muslim Women Development Organisation, Manipur Muslim Welfare Organisation, All Manipur Muslim Students Organisation, All Manipur Artists and Cultural Organisation and Muslim Advocates Legal Services Organisation) have come up with a resolution after a meeting.

CM delivers meaningful political point Manipur Sangai Fest kicks off

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 21 2016: The Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 kicked off today at Hapta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound here amidst much fanfare. The opening ceremony held at Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT) was graced by Governor Dr Najma Heptulla, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu and Chief Minister of Myanmar’s Chin State U Salai Luai as chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively.

Dr Najma Heptulla, after declaring the Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 open, stated that the festival is a miniature representation of the rich art and culture and pristine beauty of Manipur.

Sharmila hits campaign trail

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 20

Irom Chanu Sharmil also known as the Iron Lady today addressed a political conference at Khurai Assembly constituency to campaign for her party. Sharmila is preparing to contest from Khurai constituency and Thoubal Assembly constituency in the upcoming state Assembly election. She addressed a small gathering at a private residence at Lamlong area of Khurai today. Sharmila, after breaking her 16-year-long fast demanding repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act on August 9, floated Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA).

Her main focus is to remove the AFSPA, 1958 from the state and to transform the state for a better future, free from corruption and uphold rights of the people. Sharmila said that she ended her 16 years of fast because she wanted to repeal AFSPA through political means. She continued that she has to act and it is her responsibility, duty and commitment as to continue the fight for the removal of AFSPA from the state by contesting in the upcoming Assembly election.

She added that if she lost in this coming election, she will again contest in the Lok Sabha election. She also said that she used to to go for campaigning by bicycle and wanted to fight the election fairly without any corruption, which is the trend of buying voters with money. She appealed the people to choose their leader wisely thinking about a better future for the children and state.

Demonetisation kills smaller fish: Ibobi

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 20

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is killing smaller fish to catch big ones with the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, according to Chief Minister Okram Ibobi. This was mentioned in the one day political conference of congress party at Wangkhei ground for MLA K Meghachandra today. He further said that the fight against black money is welcome but giving pain to common people is very unfortunate. The lack of small currency in circulation has crossed the limits of tolerance.

Ibobi said that it is very unfortunate BJP are playing politics on sport and culture. The site selection of the National Sport University was by the ministry team from centre. After Union Minister visited to the site where their team selected at Yaithibi Loukon it said low land and not suitable for university. Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam said that the Ukhrul attack on Chief Minister is an attack to the people of state. It is open secret as to who is behind the attack, he added.

Modi takes but does not give

Imphal Free Press
Irengbam Arun

IMPHAL | November 20

Earlier, it was the rich and corrupt who use to milk the common folk of their hard-earned money. Now, it is Narendra Modis turn to empty the pockets of the common people. The catch is that, he only takes but does not give. Since the demonetization of high value currency notes the banks entertains deposits while giving out only peanuts. There is little circulation of cash in the market and people are making use of their savings and piggy banks to make ends meet. The common people simply does not have time for attending to their routine chores and duties, as they are busy standing in long queues all day, that too for a few thousand.

First, the announcement said upto Rs 4,000 could be exchanged, Rs 2,000 could be withdrawn from ATMs and any amount could be deposited, with a Rs 10,000 cap on withdrawal at the bank counters, in a day. But, the decisions keep changing as the withdrawal limit was increased at Rs 4500 and Rs 2500 at ATMs and now the limit of withdrawal at bank counters and ATMs has been reduced to Rs 2000. It is simply chaos everywhere in the country, even more so in Imphal.

The new Rs 500 notes have not reached Imphal and the banks have stopping giving out Rs 100 notes while the ATMs dispense only Rs 2000 notes. After a long wait in queue, a customer will get a single Rs 2000 note which is again virtually worthless as there is a dearth of Rs 500 and Rs 100 notes in the market.

As we said earlier, everyday life has been thrown out of gear. It is hell of a life for the poorer sections of the society and daily wage earners. Other sections of the society like the middle class and lower middle class have their ways of coping with the problem although with great difficulty. But the poor has no other means. Nobody hires the day labourers for work. Street vendors spend the day sitting as only a few buy their wares. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his band merry men say, todays pain is tomorrows gain.

One thing about the Modi band is that they are experts in coining attractive phrases and slogans which appeals to masses. If only they were followed with deeds, people would have no cause for worry. Todays pain has been stretched to about 15 days now. Modi said, the rich and the corrupt are losing sleep while the poor are having sound sleep. It seems he is far removed from reality. The poor simply cannot sleep as they are starving and people cannot sleep with an empty stomach, and still they see no hope in the foreseeable future as to when they will be able find work.

Clearly, it was not a well thought out plan. Still, we are yet to see the far reaching impact and consequences of demonetization process. The supply of fresh notes needs to be speeded up to fill up the gap in circulation.

Rs 2.5 crore for a BJP ticket

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | November 20

Two persons including a non-local from Jharkhand were handed over to the police by locals of Charangpat under Wangkhem assembly constituency in Thoubal district on November 18, for allegedly trying to extort a huge sum of money from an aspiring candidate of the 2017 state Assembly election with the promise to deliver him a BJP ticket. BJP Thoubal district Yuva Morcha secretary Oinam Tarpan and Sheik Baddrudoza from Jharkhand were caught by the locals after the two allegedly demanded Rs 2.5 crore from Kangabam Jadumani for a party ticket for Wangkhem A/C for the coming election. However, the police are yet to release the details of the two persons.

According to Jadumani, the two had first approached him on November 13 with the promise of delivering him the party ticket for the constituency if he was able to give them Rs 2.5 crore.

SH Cong Councillors quit party

The Sangai Express

Sadar Hills, November 20 2016: Reaffirming their decision taken during the last meeting at Members’ Lounge in the Administrative building of Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council (ADC) at Kangpokpi on November 2 over the Sadar Hills issue, the Congress councilors resigned from the party on November 18. The mass resignation letter has been submitted to the president, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee.

The Congress councillors stated “we feel betrayed and humiliated by the State Government’s last minute cancellation of its plan to inaugurate Sadar Hills as a full-fledged district”. It also said that taking into account the sentiments of the people over the 40 years long “betrayal” and failure on the part of the State Government “we are compelled to take this drastic decision of leaving the Congress party to which we were faithful all these years”.

The Congress councillors who appended signature on the mass resignation included chairman Haokholal Hangshing, vice chairman Thangjakam Misao, who is also the president of District Congress Committee, Sadar Hills, executive member Lunthang Haokip, who is also the vice president of District Congress Committee Sadar Hills, executive member Bhumi Prasad, executive member Lamkholen Kipgen, executive member Lunkhohen Haokip, executive member Kaikhosei Lhouvum, chairman finance committee Dr M Dominic and members Paotinlun Chongloi, Seikholal Haokip, Lamminthang Kipgen, Seilen Lhoujem, Onthong Haokip, Dinglar Chiru, Milan Pradhan, Thongjalun Mate and Th Lupheng.

Member Dama Vaiphei could not append his signature due to unavoidable circumstance but conveyed his willingness and agreed that his name be included in the mass resignation letter said the councilors.

Take action against UNC: L Ibomcha

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 20 2016: The State Government should take up stern action against UNC for causing unimaginable inconve niences to the people of Manipur, said Keisamthong AC MLA Laisom Ibomcha.

Speaking at the financial assistance fund distribution programme, MLA L Ibomcha said that stern action against UNC should be taken up apart from sealing its office located in Imphal and arresting the office bearers. “People have been facing untold suffering due to UNC’s ongoing economic blockade.

This is not the time for the State Government to remain silent. As people’s representatives, the State Government must lead and find a solution to this issue,” he said. Organised by Parents’ Association for Disabled Persons, financial assistance fund under the social benefit scheme was distributed by the MLA during the programme. The MLA said that Parents’ Association for Disabled Persons which was founded in 2002 has been providing assistance to differently abled persons in many ways.

Gaikhangam denounces blockade culture

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 20 2016: Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam has come down heavily on the agitating United Naga Council (UNC) for protracting the ongoing economic blockade chocking both the National Highways linking land-locked Manipur with other States, saying people here have suffered appalling hardship due to the relentless stir.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of a function held at Congress Bhavan, Gaikhangam claimed that the ongoing blockade enforced by UNC is being backed by a militant outfit, but he did not name the group directly.

“Attention of the Centre’s interlocutor for Naga peace talks has been drawn by the State Government over the blockade issue,” Gaikhangam said. “The continuing stir may stall the Naga peace talks and that may also prompt the Centre to withdraw it,” Gaikhangam, who is also the Home Minister, warned.

The Manipur Deputy CM insisted that the UNC blockade is “undemocratic” and expressed displeasure on the current dismal situation created by the stir that began from October 30 midnight along Imphal-Dimapur highway and Imphal-Jiribam highway through which transportation of consumer goods for the State is carried out.

National integration tour

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 20 2016: 17 Assam Rifles of HQ 10 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR (South) conducted a National Integration Tour to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur for 15 elderly persons of Ukhrul District from November 2 to November 16. The tour was flagged off by the Commander of 10 Sector Assam Rifles.

The team visited various historical places including Red Fort, Agra Fort, Amer Fort, Taj Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Akshardham etc.

The team also got the opportunities to interact with President Pranab Mukherjee, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Commander of South Western Command and GOC, 16 Delhi Area. The elderly persons expressed gratitude to AR for providing them the opportunity to witness the rich and diverse cultures of India.

Chapter 27

Demonetisation hits newspaper publication in Manipur

ANI/Business Standard
Imphal (Manipur), November 18, 2016   

The publication of newspapers in Manipur will be stopped from today due to demonetisation. In a joint meeting held yesterday afternoon in Manipur capital Imphal, the All Manipur Newspaper Publishers Association and the All Manipur Newspaper Sales and Distributors Association unanimously decided to stop the publication of newspapers across the state from today. In a joint statement, the associations said the decision to stop publication of newspapers is an after effect of the demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee currencies.

The statement further said that the non-availability of adequate legal tender notes has prevented regular circulation of newspapers. It also said that the inability of newspaper distributors to pay newspaper offices and the latter’s refusal to receive these notes has compelled this action.

Note: It is Nov 20 and the newspaper offices are still closed.

BJP alleges wrongdoings in recruitment

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 16 2016: BJP Manipur Pradesh has expressed strong suspicion about large scale anomalies committed in the process of appointing seven Committee Officers of the Assembly Secretariat. Speaking to media persons at their Nityaipat Chuthek office today, MLA Kh Joykishan said that the Government should clarify the matter at the earliest. The party received complaints from some candidates who participated in the DPC that all the seven selected candidates were family members/relatives of Ministers and MLAs.

Acting on the complaint, BJP had sought details of all the selected candidates from the Assembly Secretary, Deputy Secretary (Administration) and the Speaker, Joykishan said. Strangely, answer sheets of the written test held for appointment of the Committee Officers were not signed by invigilator(s) concerned and no code numbers were used even though the answer sheets had space designated for code number. The seven posts of Committee Officers were divided between General and ST candidates at the ratio of 5:2.

Of the two selected ST candidates, one is the son of a Cabinet Minister and the other is the son of an MLA. As for the five selected General candidates, one is the daughter of a younger brother of the Chief Minister and one is the wife of a cousin of the Speaker. One is a brother-in-law of a Cabinet Minister, Joykishan alleged.

BJP ministers shirk work to campaign for party: TN Haokip

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 16

Manipur PCC president today hit out at BJP led NDA government at the Centre for sending Union minister after minister to Manipur to play “politics” for electoral gains keeping in view of the forthcoming Manipur assembly elections.

“Union ministers came here to play drama, spread false propaganda against the present government in Manipur and make false promises. They are not coming in the interest of Manipur, but in BJP’s interest,” MPCC president TN Haokip today said.

The Congress president’s outburst came after Union ministers are making a beeline to visit Manipur ahead of the Assembly election, which is likely to be held before February. Union ministers are visiting Manipur for official purposes as well as party organisational matters.

Students storm Cong and BJP offices

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | November 16

Volunteers of the Democratic Student’s Alliance of Manipur and the Apunba Ireibak Maheiroi Sinpang Lup stormed both the Congress Bhawan and the state BJP office today demanding action to end the ongoing economic blockade along the national highways. The protesting students also submitted memorandums on the issue to both the Congress and the BJP.

The student volunteers started from the DESAM Keishampat office and simultaneously stormed the two political parties head offices. Speaking to media persons on the sideline, AIMS secretary general Somorjit Huidrom said the economic blockade of the UNC has already completed more than a fortnight, inducing much hardships to the people especially the daily wage earners.

Some educational institutes have already been closed down in Imphal area due to scarcity of fuel and we are demanding the Congress government in the state and the BJP in the centre to solve the problems of the people, he said. He said memorandums have been submitted to the respective presidents of the political parties and warned that is positive steps are not taken up to negotiate with the economic blockade agitations within November 18, the student bodies will launch various forms of agitations which will be more dangerous.

JAC gears up for blockade in Sadar Hills

Imphal Free Press

KANGPOKPI | November 16

The Joint Action Committee for Sadar Hills has given the Congress councilors of Autonomous District Council Sadar Hills and Congress workers and members from Sadar Hills an ultimatum to sever ties with the Congress party. The decisive ultimatum of the JAC Sadar Hills was taken during today’s joint meeting with civil society organisations of Sadar Hills including Kuki Inpi Sadar Hills, SAHILCA and Thadou Inpi Sadar Hills.

The JAC Sadar Hills asked the Congress councilors to tender their resignation from the Congress before 1 pm of November 17 to the concerned authority and submit a copy of their resignation letters to the JAC before 5 pm of the same day.

Joykishan alleges nepotism in assembly appointments

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 16

BJP MLA from Thangmeiband Assembly constituency Khumukcham Joykisan has charged the Congress government of gross misconduct in the recruitment of committee officers of Manipur State Assembly. Addressing a press conference at the BJP head office today, the MLA said all those appointed for the seven posts are relatives of the CM, Congress MLAs and ministers.

Stating that he has received complaints in this regard, he claimed that the seven selected candidates include daughters of a cabinet minister and a Congress MLA, a nephew of the Chief Minister, sons in law of cabinet minister and a cousin of the Speaker’s wife. He said the BJP will not allow such misconduct in government recruitment.

Joykisan continued the MLA has submitted a written document seeking information in this regard from the Assembly secretariat through deputy secretary administration, Assembly secretary Meghajit and Speaker Th Lokeshor on November 14, but is yet to receive any reply.

Rishang Keishing asks UNC to call off eco-blockade

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 16

 “Economic blockade is not the right way, it will create hatred among us, stop it”, said former Chief Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Rishang Keishing. The veteran Congress leader Rishang Keishing was reacting to questions posed by reporters on the ongoing economic blockade at National Highways of Manipur by United Naga Council since November 1.

Rishang Keishing was at the Manipur Press Club today to attend a book release function today.  Rishang urged UNC to call off the economic blockade and to talk with the state government. He further urged the state government not to wait for intervention from outside (read, Centre) while settling matters relating to the state. Viewing the ever widening gap between different communities in Manipuri society, he earnestly urged the people of Manipur to work together in restoring the peace and harmony in the state.

Chaoba appointed as chairman

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | Nov 16

Former union minister Thounaojam Chaoba has been appointed as Chairman cum convener of the state election management committee of BJP Manipur, according to an official order of state unit president Ksh Bhabananda. The state election management committee consists of 14 members with new entrant and former Congress leader N Biren as Co-convener of the committee.

The other members of committee are Y Erabot, Kh Joykishan, Th Biswajit, V Hangkhalian, Francis Ngajokpa, M Asnikumar, S Premananda Sharma, Adim Pamei, AR Khan, A Sarda Devi, RK Ranjan and Khadge Tamang.

UNC talk with MHA fails, NH blockade on

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL| November 15

The United Naga Council (UNC) met officials of the Union home ministry today on the issue of the ongoing economic blockade along the state’s highways, imposed by the Naga organisation. After the meeting no indication came from the UNC that the blockade will be lifted. The Centre had asked the Manipur government to send a representative to the talks over the phone.

However, the Okram Ibobi Singh government did not send any representative to the talk. An informed source said the home ministry had invited the state government to the talk. However, the state government could not send any representative because the invitation came over the phone at the eleventh hour, the source said.

BJP, Cong mum, Quint report denied

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 15

Both the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee and the Bharatiya Janata Dal Party Manipur refused to comment on the report “Centre bends backward to transfer freshly minted cash to the NSCN-IM” which was originally carried by the web journal The Quint and reproduced in the local media today. When asked to comment on the issue, both the MPCC president TN Haokip and BJP Manipur president K Bhabananda refused while questioning the authenticity of the report.

Haokip told this reporter, the news cannot be authenticated as of now and as such the Congress has no comments to make on it. Bhabananda replied on a similar note and said despite the report being widely carried in the local dailies we cannot authenticate it and so we cannot make any comments at the moment. He, however, said the BJP Manipur will certainly discuss the issue with party leaders soon.

Meanwhile, a source from Ukhrul said if the chopper which reportedly carried the money from Guwahati landed at Ukhul then it was meant for the people of Ukhrul and not for the NSCN (IM).

Ibobi non-committal on district creation

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 15

Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh has reportedly refused to reveal government’s clear cut stand on the declaration of Sadar Hills and Jiribam as full-fledged revenue districts of the state. Representatives of JAC Sadar Hill, Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM), Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO), United Committee Manipur (UCM), All Manipur United Clubs Organisation (AMUCO) and Committee of Civil Society Kangleipak (CCSK) met with the state chief minister O Ibobi Singh late this evening. After the meeting, the representatives told reporters at a press conference held at Kuki Inn, Imphal that the chief minister refused to make commitments on the Sadar Hills and Jiribam demand.

Spokesperson of the delegation and AMUCO president Ph Deban said that the delegation went to meet the chief minister to apprise him of the impact of economic blockade and counter blockade on Sadar Hills and Jiribam issue.

Blockade and counter blockade hits life in hills

Imphal Free Press

KANGPOKPI | November 15

The indefinite economic blockade called by the United Naga Council along the national highways in the state since November 1 and the counter blockade called by valley based associations since November 12 at different locations of the state capital have inflicted hardships on the general public in the hill districts. Sources said counter blockade supporters have allegedly seized any essential commodities meant for the hill districts even if it were a small quantity at Khuyathong.

Kangpokpi bound passengers have alleged the counter blockade supporters of seizing even medical items at Khuyathong today. A woman from Sapormeina in Sadar Hills alleged that they went to Imphal for medical treatment and bought some medicine related items as prescribed by the doctor but the counter blockade supporters at Khuyathong seized all the items.

She said that even if medical related items were not spared it is no less than intentionally killing the patients. The counter blockade supporters need to understand the necessity of an emergency service and items on humanitarian ground, she added.

Another passenger complained that even eatables of small children were seized by the counter blockade supporters inside the bus. An enraged leader of one prominent Sadar Hills civil body said that “amidst their disappointment and sorrow over the repeated betrayal of the state government, we have patiently bear the economic blockade and the counter blockade burden for long and if it is not suspended at the earliest it will definitely compel us to take another drastic step.”

Another passenger of a Kangpokpi bus opined that it will be wise on the part of counter blockade supporters to sensibly implement the counter blockade. Meanwhile, commodities price at Kangpokpi are skyrocketing due to the economic blockade and counter blockade while petrol price reach Rs. 250-300/- per litre, diesel oil rose to Rs. 120-150/- per litre. Many essential commodities are drying up in the wholesale market and retail market respectively rendering complete vertigo to the innocent people apart from the untold misery face by the people due to demonetisation.

NPP decries

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 15 2016: National People’s Party (NPP), Manipur State unit has decried the State Government’s deafening silence even as all sections of people have been enduring extreme difficulties on account of the protracted economic blockade. Speaking to media persons at their Wahengbam Leikai-Jiri parking today, NPP State unit president Thangminlen Kipgen remarked that the Government’s inaction smacks of sheer irresponsibility.

Different organisations may undertake different modes of agitation but agitation of such which challenges humanity itself is not acceptable. The Government ought to take up some concrete actions rather than keeping a stoic silence, Thangminlen said. NPP has been working for a strong and vibrant Manipur. The future of Manipur should be decided by her people, not by Delhi. Five persons who joined NPP anew after leaving other political parties were also felicitated at the gathering. NPP working president Ch Ajang Khongsai remarked that UNC’s vehement objection to creation of districts for administrative convenience lacked rationale.

Centre, Manipur government and UNC to hold tripartite talk in Delhi tomorrow
Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 1

The Centre, Manipur government and representatives of the United Naga Council (UNC) will hold a tripartite talk in Delhi tomorrow on the agenda of the ongoing economic blockade along Manipur’s supply lines by the Naga organisation. A six member team of the UNC led by its president Gaidon Kamei will represent the Naga organisation while state chief secretary O Nabakishore Singh will represent state government. A team of the Union home ministry will play the mediator’s role during the talk.

Seven LJP leaders join MNDP
Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | Nov 14

Seven leaders of Lok Jan Shakti (LJP) from Sadar Hills and Ukhrul district today joined the Manipur National Democratic Front (MNDP). The seven leaders are Letjam Singson, J Kilong, Johnson Keishing, MS Thadou, Henjapao Vaiphei and Mangboi Chongloi from Sadar Hills and Ukhrul district.

They were welcomed in a simple function held at MNDP office, Babupara. Speaking at the function ex-MLA and senior vice-president Bijoy Koijam said, MNDP has no alliance with any major party and the party will go alone in the ensuing assembly elections by contesting at least 30 seats in both the valley and hills.

He clarified that MNDF is not a B Team of the Congress party and did not receive Rs eight crores for setting up the party as alleged by some sections.

BJP goes hammer and tongs against Cong Govt

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 14 2016: While all sections of people have been reeling under severe hardships on account of the prolonged economic blockade, the Congress Government has been spending their time and energy on management of black money, said BJP Manipur Pradesh spokesman Dr Nimaichand Luwang. Speaking to media persons at their Nityaipat Chuthek office today, Dr Nimaichand pointed out that prices of all essential commodities have escalated and even school van service has been ceased due to the economic blockade.

Even harvesting of paddy has been affected as fuel to run agricultural machinery are no longer available. Yet, the Congress Government has done nothing to get the economic blockade lifted. Dr Nimaichand said that he welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. Even though the 11th State Assembly election is due in the next two/three months, the State Government has been carrying out massive recruitment drives with an ulterior motive to amass huge amounts for the election.

Counter blockades launched in some pockets of the valley in response to the economic blockade is not a good sign. It can widen the rift between the hills and the valley, Dr Nimaichand said. He then appealed to the UNC to lift the economic blockade as well as those people imposing counter blockade to call of their agitation.

Kim Gangte demands PR

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 14 2016: While denouncing the State Government’s lack of initiative to resolve the indefinite economic blockade being imposed on National Highways by the United Naga Council (UNC), Manipur Pradesh Trinamool Congress (MPTC) had demanded imposition of President’s Rule in the State. Speaking to media persons at their Mahaballi office today, MPTC president and former MP Kim Gangte decried that Congress and BJP have been engaging in political mudslinging rather than working toward resolving the issue of economic blockade.

The Central Government’s invitation to the UNC to talk about the economic blockade only exposed that the State Government is helpless. The State Government ought to highlight the crisis being endured by the people of Manipur to the Central Government and explore all possible avenues so as to resolve the issue. The Governor too need to do something rather than maintain a stoic silence, Kim asserted.

BJP takes political conference to Henglep AC

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 14 2016: A one day political conference of the BJP under Henglep Assembly Constituency covering six polling booths of Phoijang, Kangvai, Torbung, Matijang and Teijang was held today at 11 am. The political conference was organised by the Election Campaign Committee of former Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly T Thangzalam Haokip (TT Haokip) and was held at Gothol Community Hall.

Senior BJP leaders including former Minister Salam Ibohal Singh, former MLA Meinam Bhorot and National Council Member for Senior Citizens of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and former vice president and senior BJP leader I Mangiton attended the political conference. Altogether 263 BJP supporters and 23 village chiefs from the six polling stations under Henglep AC attended the one day political conference.

All the speakers at the conference, including intending BJP candidate TT Haokip, stressed on the need to have the BJP candidate (whoever the ticket is given to) elected from Henglep AC in the coming Assembly election. The Congress Government has failed to deliver the goods to the public of Henglep for the last 17 years, the speakers claimed. Salam Ibohal and Meinam Bhorot highlighted the various achievement of the BJP Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi within a span of just two years and pointed out the failures of the Congress Government on all fronts.

Cash crisis continues to dog NE

The Sangai Express / IANS

Agartala/Aizawl, November 14 2016: The cash crisis bedevilling the people after the November 8 demonetisation continued to persist for the sixth day on Monday in several North Eastern States, especially in rural and remote areas.

“We are yet to get sufficient new Rs 2,000 denomination currency as well as old Rs 100 and smaller denomination notes, causing serious problems in dealing with the people.

We are in touch wth the RBI to get sufficient notes of varied denominations,” a top official of United Bank of India (UBI) told IANS on the condition of anonymity. “No bank in the North East has as yet received the new Rs 500 note,” he added.

In Manipur too, people continue to reel under severe cash crunch with the banks unable to meet the demand for new notes. Many of the ATMs were without cash today too. The State-owned UBI is a lead bank in several North Eastern States and has the largest number of chests to stock the currencies. The cash crisis is serious in remote and rural areas, where most banks have no currency notes and automated teller machines are non-functional.

As majority of ATMs either remained closed or functioned at a very slow speed due to technical problems on Monday for the sixth consecutive day in the entire North Eastern region, people thronged banks since early morning to exchange the scrapped currency notes with new ones or to withdraw money.

Election committee office opens

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 14 2016: An election committee office for the 15 Wangkhem Kendra Ward No 22 Congress party was inaugurated today at Soibam Leikai near Citizens’ Club, Imphal East, today.

The inaugural function was attended by Ward No 22 Congress president Aftab Hussain, intending candidate Okram Henry, Wangkhei Kendra Block Congress Committee president Laishinga Daimei, Manipur Mahila Congress Committee vice-president Thiyam Puina, Wangkhei Kendra Election Committee Working Chairman Ngangbam Dinamani, vice-president Oinam Priyokumar, Wangkhei Kendra Block Mahila Congress Committee president RK Rita, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee election member Akhtar, Wangkhei Kendra Block Congress Committee Minority Cell chairman MA Mannan and Wanghei Block Congress Committee executive member Sayed Sirajuddin attended the function.

Battleground Manipur: Elections, integrity and rhetoric

Imphal Times Editorial 15 November 2016 

Neighbours Manipur and Nagaland have not been on good terms from the times when Congress ruled both the states and at the Centre.  Now that Congress is alone, which is to say BJP is in office at the Centre and NPF in Nagaland, with the latter two parties having made an alliance, the Ibobi-government of Manipur seems to have little say whenever Nagaland does something in the interest of Manipur, be it ‘forced’ resignation of MLAs after instigations by leaders from across the state’s border.

At the same time, a landlocked state like Manipur has been put at the mercy of Nagaland as the “only transportable road” to the outside world passes through the neighbouring state. Like an enemy state, at the behest of Naga leaders in Nagaland, hill residents of the state have been declaring the war-like strategy of economic blockade many a times and hold the Manipur people to ransom. Gradually, the state’s integrity seems to be eroding with nothing concrete done to stop it.

While Manipur had a clear cut boundary since time immemorial, Nagaland was carved out from Assam.  Now, this age-old boundary of Manipur seems to be under attack time and again even during the 21st century, and people from Nagaland are spreading misleading information as if this 2000-year-old history of Manipur never existed.  It seems like, if India has a thorn in the form of neibouring Pakistan; Manipur, a mini-India, has a Pakistan-like neighbour in Nagaland.

As the state elections get closer, the battle has now been partly focused on getting maximum of the 20 reserved seats of the hill districts to the Assembly so that those MLAs can speak up for “Southern Nagaland”.  This term has been introduced to Manipur when some signboards were put up in Senapati district nearly two decades ago to describe the Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur as part of the present day Nagaland. This time around, Nagaland CM T R Zeliang led the missive with an address to a huge gathering at the first ever conference of ‘Naga Village Authority of South Nagalim’ at the local ground of Tagaramphung in Senapati district on Wednesday.

Indeed, Zeliang has done what NSCN-IM leader Th Muivah could not. While Muivah was not allowed entry into the state, Zeliang was accorded the status of a state guest. The intention of Zeliang and other Naga leaders could be interpreted as against the interest of Manipur, the long-term strategy of the Nagas and that of Zeliang is indeed laudable.  In his own state, Zeliang has his own tribal problems. The Central Nagaland Tribes Council (CNTC) in an earlier statement had said it never objected the Rongmeis being accorded the Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland state to those qualifying the norms of the Nagaland government notification dated the 28th of April 1977, No.AR-8/876.

“However, the CNTC also makes the stand of the three tribes of CNTC clear to whomever concerned, that the recognition of Rongmeis with a tribal status of Nagaland state will be opposed and objected together with all the other Naga tribes of Nagaland till it is revoked. On the ongoing tussle involving the Rongmei recognition as an Indigenous Tribe of Nagaland, the CNTC takes this step in opposing the recognition of the mentioned tribe in the larger interest of the people of Nagaland and for the sake of our future generations.”

Despite problems like these, Zeliang has been able to display a view of ‘United Nagas’ at least in Manipur. Manipur needs to learn a lot from a chief minister like Zeliang who could wield influence in neighbouring states. It is unthinkable of the Manipur chief minister going to Manipuri localities in neighbouring states and hold public meetings in the interest of Manipur, notwithstanding the fact that many problems exists in the state.  Local and regional parties of Manipur are also unable to spread their wings beyond the boundary of the state, unlike the NPF, which is in office in Nagaland and targeting to get a double-digit figure in the upcoming Manipur Legislative Assembly elections.  In view of the above, it is high time that people of Manipur leave aside their differences for the better good of the state, at least for once and continue till stability comes to the state.

No Nagas want separation from Manipur: Chand

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 13 2016: While asserting that vast majority of the people of Manipur do not want to break away from Manipur, Congress MLA E Chand has stated that Naga people are unable to speak against anti-Manipur elements because they are always kept under immense pressure and threats. He was speaking at the inaugural function of a Meira Paibi shed at Wangkhei Durga Puja ground today.

He said that he was able to discern clearly while talking with fellow Naga MLAs that Naga people do not want separation from Manipur. Taking serious of the adverse impacts of the ongoing economic blockade on all sections of people, the State Government has been exploring several options to neutralise the blockade. While appealing to the people not to fall in line with BJP’s propaganda, Chand pointed out that BJP has allied itself with NPF which is determined to disintegrate Manipur.

People never heard any BJP leader speaking a single word against NPF. He went on to allege that all the people who have been seeking BJP tickets are supporters of the Framework Agreement signed between NSCN-IM and the Government of India on August 3 last year. Chand also admitted that not all Congress MLAs are holy cows.

BJP asks CSOs to opt for dialogue instead of blockades

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 13 2016: Asserting that the ongoing indefinite economic blockade on the National Highways has adversely affected the life of the common people rather than targeting the Government, the BJP, Manipur Pradesh today asked the UNC to immediately lift the blockade. It also appealed all to turn away from counter economic blockade stating any form of blockade is against humanity.

In a statement, the party’s general secretary Thongam Bishwajit urged all to opt for mutual discussion and come to the line of mutual understanding adding this will be more effective to resolve issues, including that of Churachandpur, UNC, Sadar Hills and Jiribam.

He also accused the Government of indulging in vote bank politics and polarising the voters on ethnic lines in connection with the ensuing Assembly election. Instead of trying to mitigate the woes of the public caused by the economic blockade and counter blockade, the State Government is busy eyeing the ensuing Assembly election, it added.

Dr Nara announces Left democratic front

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 13

In the run-up to the ensuing 2017 Assembly elections, left parties alongwith the JD (U), Aam Aadmi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party has finally managed to cobble together an alliance in the form of Left Democratic Front, Manipur. The alliance at the state level was announced today before the media by LDF convenor Dr M Nara at the residence of Salam Yaima Singh, Singjamei Chinga Mathak Chongtham Leikai and office of the MSC/CPI, Singjamei Local Council).

A manifesto of the new front comprising Communist Part of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Janata Dal (United), Aam Adami Party and Bahujan Samaj Party was also released before the media.

Don’t play politics in sports and culture: Ibobi

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 13

Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi today warned Bharatiya Janata Party not to play politics in matters of sports and culture of the Manipur people. The Chief Minister was speaking at the one day political conference of Sawombung district Congress committee at Ibudhou Marjing Chingya ground Heingang Imphal East District today.

CM Ibobi said, everyone knows that Manipur is a powerhouse of games and sport in India and Manipur culture is appreciated for its high standards. Manipuris are highly talented in these two fields particularly. In the early part of NDA government, Prakash Javedkar when he was union minister of information and broadcasting proposed a cultural university along with a film and television centre in Manipur, but afterwards the film and television institute was shifted to Arunachal Pradesh as BJP was a partner in the government there, he alleged.

While Arunachal Pradesh produces two or three films annually, Manipur produces 60/70 films a year which is even more than that of Assam.

Ibobi decides to bring in supplies along both highways

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 13

After oscillating for 12 days, and as fuel stock dries up, Okram Ibobi Singh government has finally decided to use both Imphal-Jiribam (NH-37) and Imphal-Dimapur (NH-2) routes to restore supply of essential commodities to ease the crisis triggered by the indefinite economic blockade. The supply of all kinds of daily requirements is running low and prices of commodities have soared after the United Naga Council (UNC) imposed an indefinite economic blockade along the state’s two supply lines of Imphal-Dimapur (NH-2) and Imphal-Jiribam highway (NH-37) completely shut out supply trucks.

Price of petrol at black market reached Rs. 250 per litre today. Hundreds of loaded trucks and oil tankers are remaining stranded along Imphal-Dimapur highway, beyond Manipur including at some parts in Assam.

“The chief minister is reviewing the situation with concerned officials everyday and the government is working out a plan to restore the supply by bringing the stranded trucks to Imphal with security escorts,” transport minister Kh Ratankumar Singh today said.

Chapter 26

Ibobi reviews fuel crisis

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 12

To address the current fuel scarcity crisis in the state, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh convened a meeting at the conference hall of his bungalow office this morning. The meeting was also attended among others by the chief secretary O Nabakishore Singh, IOC officials, driver union representatives and Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution officials, senior police officials etc. to review the fuel crisis. The fuel scarcity is now at a flash point as availability is now at ‘dead stock level’ and is believed to be only 133 kilo litres as per update from IOC state officials. The state’s requirement of petrol is around 160 KL daily.

It was claimed that despite repeated requests from the IOC and CAF and PD authorities for escort to fuel convoys, the DGP’s office refused.

Centre’s intervention sought

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 12

As Manipur is staring at a “standstill” situation due to fuel scarcity economists and political leaders have sought immediate “intervention” by the Centre to pull out the state from the crisis that may plunge it into an emergency like situation. The state’s economy is “slowing down” due to fuel scarcity, which is triggered by an indefinite economic blockade along Imphal-Jiribam, national highway-37 and Imphal-Dimapur route, national highway-2 since November 1 midnight against the move to create Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts.

Before the blockade the Naga organisation imposed a 48 hour shutdown of the Naga areas in the hills. The shut down and blockade completely dislocated supply of all kinds of commodities in Manipur.

Banks almost emptied out Rs 100 notes already

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 12

Mad rush in banks continues for the third consecutive day today post demonetisation despite arrival of Rs.107 crores worth notes yesterday. People continued to line up in long queues in front of banks across the state. Nevertheless, the arrival of the bulk of Rs 100 and Rs 2000 notes to some extent mitigated the unprecedented demand. According to reliable sources from the banking sector, the 100 rupees notes will not last for another day.

A hundred crores in Rs 2000 denomination and another 7 crores in Rs 100 denominations arrived yesterday by a special flight. Subsequently, a handful of people got hold of the Rs 2000 notes for the first time today. Although a handful of ATMs were open today in parts of Imphal as assured by the banks, most of the ATMs were found without money. An official of the SBI told IFP that 6 ATMs of SBI were replenished with cash (hundred notes) yesterday evening. However, the cash got exhausted very early.

Govt approves draft Pony policy

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 11 2016: Finally, the State Veterinary Department and the State Government have come up with a policy to save the rare, indigenous Manipur horse breed Pony which is famous for the game of Polo. Speaking to the media persons in his office chamber this afternoon, Veterinary Director N Rajendro said that the initiative has been taken up by the department after taking serious note of the fast dwindling number of Manipur Ponies.

The policy to save Manipur Pony was formulated in consultation with all stake holders and horse lovers. As per the 19th quinquennial livestock census report of 2012, there were only 1,100 Ponies in the State. The department has drafted a policy for conservation and development of Manipur Pony and the draft policy was submitted to the State Government on October 17. The Director informed that the State Government has approved the draft policy in principle.

He also said that the draft policy has been already uploaded in the website for inviting comments/suggestions from all stake holders, horse lovers and the general public.

Aspiring BJP candidate Blessing ceremony for Aza held

The Sangai Express

Ukhrul, November 11 2016: Former MLA from Chingai Assembly Constituency A Aza, while speaking at his blessing programme held at his residence at Wino bazar, Ukhrul district headquarters today said he will contest the upcoming Assembly election on a BJP ticket. Stressing on the importance of the power of the franchise rights, Aza said that the secret ballot is the most powerful of all. Exuding confidence that he will be given the BJP ticket to contest the polls, Aza said that this confidence comes from the fact that the people are with him and added that the BJP will issue the ticket to the candidate who is most likely to win.

Union Minister inspects WIGC, PFA office and orphanage

The Sangai Express

Thoubal, November 11 2016: Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, who reached Manipur for a two-day visit yesterday, inspected Women Income Generation Centre (WIGC) and People for Animal office at Thoubal district today, our correspondent reports. The Union Minister reached the WIGC campus at 9:30 am today and inspected the conditions in which orphans are accommodated in the centre, the ongoing training programmes for women and the products made by the participating women.

The Union Minister was pleased with how the WIGC has implemented the STEP programme of the Government of India and the varied products made by women that were displayed at the centre. Maneka assured to fund for more training programmes for women.

Local money market thrives with exchange rate of Rs 1000 for Rs 800

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 11 2016: With the State now facing acute shortage of currency notes of smaller denominations following demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, some people who are dealing in exchange of notes have been charging as much as Rs 200 for exchanging a Rs 1000 note with currency notes of smaller denominations.

If one is ready to exchange Rs 1000 with Rs 800, he/she can easily get currency notes of smaller denominations without standing in long queues in front of banks. These currency note dealers (exchange of currency notes of bigger denominations with smaller denominations) are openly charging Rs 100 for Rs 500 and Rs 200 for Rs 1000. As shops at Khwairamband Keithel refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, people were forced to exchange these notes with smaller denominations at the currency note dealers.

Bundles of currency notes of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100 were seen in front of the currency note dealers. One woman who has been dealing in currency notes said that they have been engaging themselves in the particular trade as there is a widespread tradition of offering money (crispy notes of smaller denominations) at religious functions. She said that they bought the crispy notes from bank employees through middlemen.

Earlier, it was during festive and marriage seasons that people came for purchasing currency notes of smaller denominations with currency notes of bigger denominations. But these days, a large number of people come for buying currency notes of smaller denominations following demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. She said that the amount of money exchanged in a day varies between Rs 50,000 to Rs 80,000 in the last couple of days. The rate of Rs 200 now charged for exchanging a Rs 1000 note with currency notes of smaller denominations may rise in the coming days, she added. Earlier, the exchange rates were Rs 50 for a Rs 500 note and Rs 100 for a Rs 1000 note.

Javadekar promises world class highways

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 11

Human Resources Development minister Prakash Javadekar today said the Union Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari will visit the state next month to lay foundation stones for four laning of national highway 2 and 37. Addressing a one-day political conference cum reception of new leaders of BJP Nambol mandal at Nambol Bazar today, he said the centre is planning to develop the two lifelines of the state to world class standard within the next two years considering the public’s grievances over the poor road connectivity in the state.

The union minister said during its 15 years long regime, the Congress in the state had only focused on how to embezzle the development funds meant for road development.

Nadda promises 20-bedded neo-natal unit at JNIMS

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 11

Union minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda said the centre has approved a 20-bedded Neo-natal intensive care unit, a Tertiary Cancer unit and more beds to the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences, Porompat. The Union minister made the announcement after inaugurating a one day workshop on dissemination of information on programme and schemes run by the ministry of Health and Family Welfare at the City Convention Centre at Palace Gate today.

The workshop was organised by State Health Society, National Health Mission, Manipur to educate the general masses through the municipal council representatives, Zila Parisad members, Panchayat members, ASHA workers who are basically the workforce directly at community and village level.

MPP ridicules ministerial visits

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL November 11

Manipur Peoples Party (MPP) has condemned the BJP led NDA government at the Centre and Congress government in the state for indulging in electin mudslinging while ignoring myriad problems of the people in Manipur. “The BJP and the Congress are more interested in electoral battles than the sufferings of the people,” MPP vice-president (publicity) Y Bhim Singh said in a press statement today.

He said due to the economic blockade petrol is no longer available in the state. Vehicular movement has been reduced to half. Petrol however continues to be available in black market. Though blockades have been declared illegal by the Supreme Court, the Centre and state government have not done anything to mitigate the sufferings of the people, the MPP charged.

Troubled times for the State Congress : Boycotted and shunned in hill dists

 The Sangai Express Editorial 11 November 2016 

The State unit of the Congress is in deep trouble. No two ways about it. Take a look at the reality. It stands boycotted in all the hill districts and with some MLAs resigning from the Assembly and switching sides to the BJP, the position of the State Congress can be anything but comfortable.  Just how serious is the boycott can be easily gauged from the hostile reception that the Chief Minister received at Ukhrul on October 24 when he and some of his Ministers had gone there to inaugurate a series of development projects. Thanks to the three Bills that the Assembly passed on August 31 last year, it has been boycotted in Churachandpur district with the bodies of the nine killed in the protest against the three Bills still in state.

At Sadar Hills too, it has been boycotted and the three Congress MLAs have been told in no uncertain terms to either resign from the Congress or face the wrath of the people when election time comes. It is the same in the other hill districts and surely Chief Minister O Ibobi and his men must be worried. Top this off with the BJP seemingly going from strength to strength and surely this must be uneasy days for the Chief Minister and the Congress leaders. Even as the anti-Bills voice is still going strong, the student wing of the JCILPS has gone on record and announced that they will be launching yet another round of movement to pressurise the Government to pass another Bill to check the inflow of non-local people into the State.  All these cases will surely have an impact on the coming Assembly election and the Congress is in the middle of it all.

The Sadar Hills issue is a no win situation for the State Government, read the Congress. Even as the people of Sadar Hills want it upgraded to the status of a district, there are others led by the United Naga Council which have said a big no to this. Caught in the middle is the Congress. So while a blockade is on, there is no guarantee that the proponents of Sadar Hills will not impose another similar agitation in the coming days. Not that other political parties will have any answer to this issue, but being in power for the last three terms, all fingers will surely be pointed at the Congress.  Taking all these things into consideration, it may not be wrong to say that the Congress should not and cannot afford to see a repeat of the 2012 Assembly election.

Its safest bet seems to be the valley area, but here again Chief Minister O Ibobi has to walk the extra mile to convince the people that he is the Chief Minister of Manipur not obsessed with only his home Constituency Thoubal. There are reasons why many see him as the Chief Minister of Thoubal and there may be reasons for this. It is this which he should try to neutralise. Either way the Congress is certainly not in a comfortable position and this is unfortunate.

Demonetising Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes affects life in Manipur

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 09 2016: On account of the sudden demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes since last midnight, people of the State have been pinched hard. Whereas most of the wholesale dealers of Khwairamband Keithel including Paona Keithel and Thangal Keithel remained shut, other shops refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. Meanwhile, a press release issued by IOC’s State Level Coordinator Sinam Ibungoton informed that oil pumps and LPG distributors of IOC, HPCL and BPCL would continue to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes for purchase of fuel and related products till midnight of November 11 .

Yet, people who deal in exchange of high denomination currency with smaller denomination note enjoyed a brisk trade. They charged as much as Rs 50 for exchanging Rs 500 notes with smaller denominations and Rs 100 for exchanging Rs 1000 with smaller denominations. Even though Khwairamband Keithel was not as busy as the other days, people who came for different articles including food items had to go back empty handed as the shopkeepers refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.

Some select oil pumps were opened today and large queues were seen at these places. But people who brought Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were allowed to refuel their vehicles only after showing valid identity cards. A commotion broke out for a brief period at Keishampat as MSPDCL officials refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes from electric consumers who came to purchase pre-paid coupons. People came back in the afternoon and bought pre-paid power coupons with Rs 100 and smaller denominations.

One shopkeeper of Thangal Keithel told The Sangai Express that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of invalidating Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes was commendable but the way the initiative has been implemented caused a lot of difficulties to the public. All trading and commercial activities have been severely affected as shopkeepers are reluctant to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.

Cong picks holes in demonetisation, says Rs 2 thousand notes a puzzle

The Sangai Express / PTI

New Delhi, November 09 2016: Congress today sought to pick holes in the Modi Government demonetizing Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, saying if the idea was to address the issue of black money why has it decided to introduce Rs 2000 denomination notes, and terming the action as a “puzzle” . The main Opposition party said if the common man faced problems in exchanging the demonetized notes, it would amount to “pure and simple harrassment” .

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters that a similar move was also contemplated by the previous UPA Government but the idea was dropped as “the economic gains were not too great” .

“Introduction of Rs 2000 note is a puzzle. How will this help in preventing generation of black money ? If new income or wealth is unaccounted, will it not be hidden in Rs 2000 notes.

Cong boycotted in Sadar Hills

The Sangai Express

Sadar Hills, November 09 2016: Demonstrating the pain inflicted on the people of Sadar Hills allegedly by the Ibobi led Congress Government over the Sadar Hills issue, the JAC Sadar Hills today declared total boycott of Congress Party in Sadar Hills with immediate effect in public interest. The JAC Sadar Hills summoned the three Congress MLAs of Sadar Hills including the IFC Minister Ngamthang Haokip today at Kangpokpi town, when the Manipur Congress Government failed to declare Sadar Hills as a full-fledged district as assured and to decide the fate of Sadar Hills. The meeting held at District Council Hall, Kangpokpi was attended by JAC Sadar Hills members, leaders of CSOs, Kuki Inpi Sadar Hills, Congress Councillors apart from the three Sadar Hills Congress MLAs.

CM’s effigy burnt on sports varsity issue

Imphal Free Press

THOUBAL | November 9

The National Sports University construction should not be shifted from Yaithibi Loukon and if it is shifted then the Chief Minister of the state and the local MLA should together bear responsibility for all incidents arising out of the issue, warned the National Sports University Demand Committee, Wangjing Tentha during a sit in protest held at the Khongjom Community Hall.

The protestors also set ablaze an effigy of the Chief Minister for his inability to settle the land dispute even after two years since the university was announced. They also held placards reading ‘We want sports university,’ ‘produce a white paper on the land acquisition,’ ‘provision of land is the responsibility of the state government,’ etc.

City business hit hard

By B Bisheswar Sharma
Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 9

Withdrawing legal tender tag from Rs. 500 and Rs 1000 notes hit business hard the state’s economic hub of Thangal Bazar and its surrounding areas today with several shops remaining closed and those open doing hardly any business. About 80 per cent of the average daily sales went down in the business hub due to insufficient circulation of Rs 100 and lower denominations as most of the shop establishments refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, a staff of PC Jain Stationery told this reporter.

The core problem with business is the shortfall of Rs 100 notes in the market for transactions and use of swipe machines still not popular enough in the state though PC Jains have installed one each in their shops. Taking a positive note of the decision, he expressed that with this step black money and fake currency notes will be curbed at the maximum and artificial inflation as well. If assets are declared properly with deposits in banks and filing of Income tax it will create more potential and actual buyers. Buying capacity for individual will also be improved in later phase, he asserts.

The hardship faced since this morning is a temporary phenomenon but later this step will surely bring growth and our economy, he added. This break down in economy in the state and in nation will adversely affect in dealing with essential commodities, said the owner of the Manipur Gun House. He said that he sells guns that are not essential to public though he is currently facing the immediate crisis and had very low business. This immediate announcement may take three to four months to recover and until then public have to face this hardship temporarily.

“Production of eatable items has to be reduced” said the owner of Blue Moon fast food restaurant adding that in normal days mornings usually have high sale proceeds. But this morning since he also decided not to accept both the currency notes he could not sell much. On usual days 400 samosas were prepared but this morning he had only prepared 100 as even the grocery wholesaler stops accepting 500 and 1000 notes.

Many of the shops in the market seem dull with thin business activities and many shops are seen closed. Though many welcomed the initiative they could not help rebuking Modi because of the inconveniences they felt. Mostly housewives are infuriated.

“We manage our kitchen by procuring daily essentials. As keeping smaller denominations at home is not convenient we use to keep a few five hundred and one thousand notes. Today I tried buying five kgs of rice, but I failed as none of the shops in our locality were willing to accept the notes,” Lakshmi Devi, a home maker of New Checkon said.

State BJP lauds move to check black money

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 8

BJP state unit president Ksh Bhabananda Singh has welcomed the “bold” decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discontinue circulation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes as legal tender from yesterday.

A statement issued by Bhabananda said, although the decision may cause some temporary inconveniences to the common man it will help the poor and middle class in the long run. The decision is in line with his stated mission to curb circulation and hoarding of black money and it will go a long way in curbing terrorism and its funding as also circulation of counterfeit notes. The statement further said the historic decision by Narendra Modi will help in ensuring a free and fair election and a clean government at the state and the use of black money which has been rampant in the state for the last 15 years or so will be greatly diminished.

It will also put a lid on the use of black money hoarded during the Congress regime through various scams, it added. Former Congress MLA turned BJP leader Yumkham Erabot Singh said Narendra Modi’s ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes is laudable, saying he supports the step. On the other hand, a large number of people came to General Post Office to deposit Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes against their respective accounts but the Post Office staff refused to accept the currency notes of the particular denominations. Many people were also seen in front of ATM booths with the intention of drawing currency notes of smaller denominations but none of the ATM booths worked today.

BJP workers clash at Sawombung

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 8

A BJP political conference at Sawombung community hall was today disrupted following clashes between the workers of rival ticket aspirants of BJP in the Lamlai constituency. The incident occurred at around 1:30 pm between the workers of three BJP ticket aspirants. The one day political conference was organised by state executive member Kh Ibomcha, but the location happened to be in the home polling of BJP ticket aspirant Kh Saratkumar.

Saratkumar had earlier signed a commitment to endorse to a common candidate alongwith M Poreihenba Meitei. Tension erupted when the locals of Sawombung objected to the political conference in their locality while the workers of Kh Ibomcha said they have the DC’s permission.

BJP asks CM not to politicise NSU

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 8

BJP has asked Chief Minister Okram Ibobi not to politicize the issue of national sports university and the party is fully ready to support construction of the university at the present (Yaithibi Loukon) site if there is no objection from the land owners. State BJP president Ksh Bhavananda in a statement said, the politicization is a deliberate attempt by Congress to hide its failure to acquire the land in a transparent, efficient and peaceful manner.

It said, the land acquisition in Yaithibi Loukon is shrouded in secrecy and there are several allegations of indirect land purchases and that is why the people affected by the wrongful acquisition have been protesting against the state government ever since while demanding adequate compensation.

Radheshyam joins BJP

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 8

Around 20,000 villagers of Heirok particularly youth and elders showed their support for former IPS officer Thokchom Radheshyam taking out a mass rally today. Radheshyam, who is aspiring to challenge minister Moirangthem Okendro Singh from the Heirok Assembly constituency in the 2017 state Assembly election, formally joined the BJP today. Several thousands of his supporters including 10 members of the Heirok Part II Gram Panchayat and eight members of the Salungpham Kang Yambem Gram Panchayat also enrolled themselves as active members of the party.

The former IPS officer who took voluntary retirement as the additional director of the Manipur Police Training Centre, Pangei had plunged into politics after retiring from service.

Election meeting attacked

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 08 2016: A commotion erupted when an election meeting of BJP was attacked by pelting stones at Sawombung community hall under Lamlai Kendra today. Apart from intending candidate Khongbantabam Ibomcha, BJP Manipur Pradesh former president Meinam Bhorot and BJP Manipur Pradesh secretary P Premananda were also present at the meeting.

According to information culled from the spot, the meeting started at around 11 am. As a tense situation was already prevailing there due to conflicts among intending candidates who have been seeking BJP tickets, police personnel were deployed around the meeting venue. Sometime after the meeting started, some persons started pelting stones at the community hall which resulted in a ruckus.

Soon after the meeting was terminated at the advice of police personnel deployed there. Speaking at the political conference held under BJP Lamlai Mandal before it was cut short, Meinam Bhorot said that the ‘special status’ given to Manipur was revoked after the State Government sent reports which claimed that Manipur has developed quite a lot.

Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes to be invalid

The Sangai Express / PTI

New Delhi, November 08 2016: Taking the Nation by surprise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight announced demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes with effect from midnight, making these notes invalid in a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption.

In his first televised address to the Nation, Modi said people holding notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 can deposit the same in their bank and post office accounts from November 10 till December 30.In his 40-minute address, first in Hindi and later in English, the Prime Minister said the notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 “will not be legal tender from midnight tonight” and these will be “just worthless piece of paper” .

However, he said that all notes in lower denomination of Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20, Rs 10, Rs 5, Rs 2 and Re 1 and all coins will continue to be valid.

State integrity not safe till Art 3 is amended: RK Anand

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 7

The territorial integrity of the state will not be safe until the article 3 of the Constitution is amended, according to Congress MLA of Naoriya Pakhanglakpa RK Anand. RK Anand was speaking at a simple function at his residence in Kwakeithel. He said, we should not believe in assurances given by central leaders that the territorial integrity would be safe in the background of the framework agreement signed between GOI and NSCN (IM) and a possible solution in the near future.

The threat of dismemberment of Manipur will always remain as long as NSCN-IM talks with the centre, said RK Anand. He challenged his former colleagues who left party to join BJP to speak out against any compromise on Manipur’s territorial integrity. Meanwhile, the Naoriya Pakhanglakpa core committee members of development coordination committee have clarified over the boycott of RK Anand.

MLA Ibomcha rubbishes rumours of resignation from NCP

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 7

The lone Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA in the state assembly Laishom Ibomcha has dismissed rumors of his possible resignation from the party to look for greener pastures. A visiting NCP national general secretary Narendra Verma had earlier made a statement to the press regarding MLA Ibomcha’s possible resignation. Talking to IFP over the phone L Ibomcha said, he has no intention of leaving NCP and he has not given any indications referring to it.

The former Secretary Law Laishom Ibomcha is also the state unit president and also one of the national general secretaries. However, he did not attend the party meeting in Imphal today convened by the NCP national general secretary Narendra Verma.

Cong Govt has failed: Kim Gangte

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 07 2016: Trinamool Congress, State unit president Kim Gangte, has slammed the State Government for its decision to build the National Sports University at Yaithibi Loukon despite its 2014 land use policy. Speaking to media persons at the party office, Kim said that the Government cannot even follow its own policy which prohibits construction works on agricultural land and to complicate matter further, the construction of the sports university has been mired in a series of controversies.

Strongly condemning the State Government’s brutality towards demonstrators when the Union Minister of State (YAS) came to inspect the site selected for the university, she said that the Government has failed in every aspect. Questioning the motive behind BJP’s decision of constantly shifting the construction sites, she said that BJP and Congress should not politicise the issue of setting up National Sports University in the State.

Kim said that development projects should not be confined only in Imphal and Thoubal areas. The Congress Government led by the Chief Minister should also focus on the hill areas so that the valley and hill areas can develop equally. Unfinished or half baked development works and protracted periods taken in executing different projects are some of the main reasons why the hill areas are against the Congress Government, she added.

NCP gears up for Assembly election

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 07 2016: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has declared that they would be fielding their own candidates in most of the Assembly segments of Manipur which is likely to go to polls early next year. Speaking to media persons at Manipur Press Club here today, NCP National secretary cum spokesperson Narendra Verma said that they fielded 22 candidates in the 10th Manipur State Legislative Assembly election held in 2012 and they garnered 7.25 per cent of the total votes case which was only next to Congress party.

NCP would fight the forthcoming election on the planks of employment generation, empowerment of women and resolution of the insurgency issue. NCP is opposed to communal political parties like BJP, said Narendra Verma while informing that they forge alliance with like minded political parties for the State Assembly election.

Joykishan questions recruitment process

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 07 2016: Pointing out that the viva voce was held on October 26 even before results of the written test held for recruitment to some posts in the Directorate of Information and Public Relations were declared, BJP Manipur Pradesh legislature wing leader Kh Joykishan has asserted that Chief Minister O Ibobi ought to come out with a convincing explanation as he is in charge of the particular department.

Speaking to media persons at their Nityaipat Chuthek office today, Joykishan remarked that holding viva voce even before results of written test were declared is something unheard of in any part of the world. Such unusual recruitment procedure is a big blot to the State administration. While strongly condemning the faulty recruitment process, Joykishan said that all the recruitments made through faulty processes would be declared null and void in case BJP comes to power in the State.

The entire process of recruitment of Police Constables initiated in 2013 was cancelled citing large scale anomalies in the process and the recruitment process was conducted anew this year. But many anomalies and discrepancies were committed in the process. As such, the new process ought to be cancelled as done in the previous case, Joykishan asserted.

Cong on slippery ground in the hill districts : Issues dogging the State

The Sangai Express Editorial, 8 November 2016

ILP or a similar mechanism to check the inflow of non-local people into the State and the strong protest against the three Bills passed by the State Assembly last year on August 31. District demand and the voice of opposition against it. The demand that Meiteis/Meeteis be included in the Scheduled Tribe list of the Constitution of India and the opposition to this demand.  Clearly the task ahead of the Government is laid out and it is not going to be easy to deal with any of the demands mentioned here.

And remember the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) last year and the strong stand that the territorial integrity of Manipur should not be compromised at all.  True the State Government does not have any say on the peace talk underway between the two entities, but this is still a very sensitive issue here, particularly with the demand raised for separate administration for the hill districts.  It is amid these demands that the State will go in for election in the early part of next year.

Apart from the territorial integrity of the State, where all political parties seem to have come together, what is the stand of all the political parties on the other issues mentioned earlier? Will be interesting to see what they have to say on this matter, particularly on the demand that the Meiteis be included in the ST list of the Constitution of India. Clearly Chief Minister O Ibobi and his men must be a worried lot for all these issues will certainly impact on the ensuing Assembly election.

Just how tactfully the Government deals with these issues will go a long way on how the voters vote and this is where the Congress seems to be on slippery ground in the hill districts. The bodies of the nine people killed at Churachandpur in the protest against the three Bills last year are still lying in state and to be sure the lifeless bodies can be used as the rallying point for anti-Congress votes. In the Naga dominated districts too, the Chief Minister and the Congress stand boycotted with all the Congress MLAs ex-communicated. It is the same in all the hill districts, particularly Churachandpur, where the Congress stands boycotted.

These points certainly do not bode well for the Congress party and it will be interesting to see how it goes ahead with the task of wooing the voters. At the same time it is also important to ask whether the ‘ex- communicated’ stand has actually found merit with the common people or whether this has been foisted on them. The result of the election will reflect this to a large extent. Interesting time for the people and political watchers, but certainly not for the Government and this is something which the other political parties, particularly the BJP will try to capitalise on.

Congress dismisses tall claims of BJP

The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 06 2016: BJP is one party which is known for being hypercritical about the affairs of other political parties while conveniently overlooking all their flaws and weaknesses. This was stated by MPCC president TN Haokip while addressing a one day political conference held at YLL Ground, Pishumthong Ningom Leirak today. Among others, the political conference organised by Keishamthong Block Congress Committee (KBCC) was attended by MPCC president TN Haokip, Nambol AC MLA N Loken, Sagolband AC MLA RK Imo, KBCC president S Ibochou and former Minister L Jayantakumar who has been preparing to contest the forthcoming State Assembly election on a Congress ticket from Keishamthong AC.

TN Haokip asserted all the malicious propaganda floated by BJP against Congress party are aimed at covering up their wrongdoings.

‘BJP should stop dramatizing’

The Sangai Express

Thoubal, November 06 2016: BJP Manipur State Unit should stop dramatizing the ongoing issue of establishing National Sports University at Yaithibi Loukol, said Dynamic Youth Development Front (DYDF). The Centre had earlier picked Yaithibi Loukol as the suitable site for the establishment of the sports university. However, the Union Minister of State, during his visit on November 4, stated that Yaithibi Loukol is a low-lying area and is not a suitable site.

The Union Minister of State Vijay Goel possibly made such statement on the behest of BJP, Manipur State Unit, DYDF said in a statement. Politicising and dramatizing the matter with an aim to defeat the Congress party in the election should be stopped at the earliest, the statement added. People of Manipur were delighted when the Centre decided to establish National Sports University in the State and were equally gratitude to the Central Government for its commendable step.

TN Haokip sets development agenda

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 6

If the congress party is able to retain government in the next term the first priority will be development of Manipur with the opening of south-east gateway, said TN Haokip President MPCC. Speaking to a one day political conference of congress party held at community hall of Ningol Leirak Keishamthong organized by the Keishamthong block youth congress committee and Mahila congress committee, he said that the main agenda for congress party in the upcoming 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election 2017 is development.

He said that the protection territorial integrity of state, preserve the rich culture of Manipur and its natural scene beauty, health, education, power and water supply improvement is main focus of congress party. He further appealed the people to make it possible for Congress to continue the development and infrastructure process taken up since the last 15 years.

Govindas promises to cancel DPC

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | November 6

Sericulture minister Govindas Konthoujam today clarified on BJP’s claim of misconduct in the recruitment process in his department, and  said the recruitment process will be cancelled and any official found involved will be punished. Speaking to media persons at his Babupara MLA quarter this evening, Govindas said he learnt from the local dailies today that a candidate who didn’t appear in the written test for the post of Inspector in the Sericulture department was found in the list of selected names.

In his clarification, Govindas said today being a Sunday, he is unable to make much enquiry, but he will certainly find out the truth by tomorrow evening.

Tongjeimarin district demand renewed, CM Ibobi warned

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL November 6

Tongjeimarin District Demand Committee has renewed its demand for creation of Tongjeimarin district, cautioning Okram Ibobi Singh government that failure to consider the demand will invite intense form of agitation. The proposed Tongjeimarin district includes Nungba, Noney and Khoupum sub-divisions, parts of Sadar Hills, Churachandpur and villages bordering Jiribam in Imphal East and Henglep sub-division in Churachandpur district.

“The demand for creation of Tongjeimarin district has been a long standing one and it deserves to be considered with all seriousness as it has all the required criteria to be upgraded to a full-fledged district,” Gangamlung Pamei, acting chairman of the demand committee said in a statement issued today.

Heat on Congress MLAs, councilors
Monday meet to decide Sadar Hills “fate”

Imphal Free Press

KANGPOKPI | November 6

The Joint Action Committee for Sadar Hills today urged three MLAs and all Congress councilors of ADC Sadar Hills to take a farm stand on the fate of Sadar Hills in a meet convened on November 9 at Kangpokpi. JAC general secretary, Paoboi said failure of the Ibobi led government to declare Sadar Hills as a full-fledged district and the installation of a plaque with the ‘consent and approval’ of the Chief Minister compelled the JAC to urge the three Congress MLA and the 20 Congress councilors to take a firm stand on the issue. He said the three MLAs and Councillors must attend the meeting on November 9 at Kangpokpi and solicits presence of Kuki Inpi Sadar Hills, SAHILCA, Thadou Inpi, KSO, KWU, TSA, TWA and all the constituent units apart from other various civil society organizations of Sadar Hills during the  crucial meeting.