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.

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