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.

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