Chapter 30

Tengnoupal village chiefs hail govt for creating district

Imphal Free Press

The joint chiefs and chairmen of Tengnoupal have expressed their profound gratitude to the Okram Ibobi led Congress government for declaring Tengnoupal as a full- fledged revenue district alongwith six other new districts. The President of the Kuki & Naga Chiefs’/Chairmen Association Tengnoupal Holkhokhai Haokip said, the decision of the state government to create 7 new Districts for administrative convenience  was indeed commendable and histroric not only for the people of the newly created Tengnoupal District but also for the whole state.

While lauding the Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and his cabinet including Health minister and local MLA D Korungthang for their decision, the association assured to extend cooperation with the newly posted district administrators to usher in more development in the district.

Javadekar hints at Feb polls

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL| Dec 10

Union minister of Human Resources Development and Manipur BJP in charge Prakash Javadekar has hinted of early elections to the Manipur state assembly today. Speaking to press reporters at a press meet today at BJP office Nityaipat Chithek he said, the election time table may come up this month end and elections may held in the month of February 2017. Minister Javadekar accused the state Congress government of failing to deliver good governance in the state and said that the indefinite economic blockade in the state is the responsibility of the ruling dispensation in the state.

He said, people are fed up with the corrupt government. He however said that the BJP have an agenda for providing jobs to every eligible youth, skills for everybody and education for all, that is a promise from BJP. For the upcoming election, he said that he will come and camp in the state helping defeat the money power of the Congress party. He said, the centre is ready to extend any possible support but the state government is standing still in solving this problem.

Prakash Javadekar harps UNC tune

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | Dec 10

Harping to the tune of UNC, Union minister of HRD and BJP Manipur in charge Prakash Javadekar has accused the Okram Ibobi led Congress government of divide and rule policy in announcing seven new districts. Speaking at a one day political conference held today at Lainingthou Khamlangba community hall of Sagolband Moirang Leirak Machin he said, creating new districts will multiply issues and problems in the state.

He said, in the last Lok Sabha elections Congress had come down from 440 seats to only 44 and the next elections will almost completely blow away the Congress.

Bhavananda on district creation

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL| Dec 10

State BJP president Ksh Bhavananda opined that the stance of the Congress government in creating seven new revenue districts is a good decision for effective administration. He however mentioned that the district status could have been awarded for Jiribam and Sadar hills long back. “It reminds me when India got its independence of freedom at midnight, Ibobi Singh gave district hood at midnight as his ruling days are over,” he told Imphal Free Press. 

Aspirant manipulates statement

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL| Dec 10

The Bharat Janata Party Wangkhem Mandal organised a press meet today at Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul Imphal on misunderstanding between the party members. During the press meet Md Firoj Khan General Secretary BJP Wangkhem Mandal said that BJP ticket aspirant manipulated a statement submitted to Ajay Jamwal Zonal Organisational Secretary NE State on October 5 by inserting another extra 2 pages to the three pages to which he had appended his signature.

In the extra two pages O Haridas had politically assasinated three BJP members Nabachandra, Kadamjit and Jadumani, he said. He added that he doesn’t have any concern with the three members. He appealed to the state President to look into this matter and take up action against O Haridas.

CPI (ML) asks people not to take money in elections

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL| Dec 10

The Communist Party of India, CPI (M-L) Liberation, Manipur State Committe appeal the voters of Manipur not to take any incentive such as money or join in feasts organized by candidates during elections. Addressing a press meet held at the head office of CPI (ML) Liberation at Sagolband Tera Thingbaijam Leikai today Sapam Samungou Singh State Secretary CPI (ML) Liberation said that there will be good governance in the state only when there is free and fair election.

He added that Manipur is among one of the most corrupted states where the rich and powerful people hold the law in their hand and also one of the states where people suffer from many issue such as AFSPA, price hike in essential commodities etc due to the failure in governing by the corrupt leaders.

Joykumar rebuffs
The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 10 2016: Former DGP and BJP election and administration in-charge Y Joykumar has rejected BJP State election management committee Th Chaoba’s assertion that he joined BJP through online registration.

Reacting to Chaoba’s comment on fake encounters, Joykumar said that Chaoba has no authority to judge whether an encounter was fake or genuine. Only a law Court can determine whether an encounter was fake or genuine. He decried that Th Chaoba was attempting to project him in wrong light.

“Although Chaoba opposed my enrolment in BJP, I became a member of BJP on April 30, 2015”, Joykumar added.

A Heroine After a 16-Year Fast, Now Spurned by Many

By Nida Najar
The New York Times 9 Dec 2016

Irom Chanu Sharmila in 2011 in Imphal, India, 11 years into her nearly 16-year hunger strike to protest abuses by the armed forces. Credit Manpreet Romana for The New York Times

IMPHAL, India — In her makeshift campaign office, surrounded by plywood desks and a giant whiteboard, Irom Chanu Sharmila rambled a bit, talking about the nearly 16 years she fasted to protest abuses by the armed forces, about spending most of that time in a hospital ward being force-fed through a nose tube under a law in India criminalizing suicide and about her reasons for ending the hunger strike and emerging to contest coming elections in Manipur State.

“I was yearning to meet the people,” she said, adjusting a white shawl over her thin shoulders, “so I had to find another way.”

In meeting them, however, Ms. Sharmila was in for a bit of a shock. She had been a heroine to many in the violence-scarred northeastern state of Manipur, the most recognizable face of a popular resistance to what residents say are the brutal tactics of the armed forces. Yet her decision to end her fast and run for office in a much-despised government said to be riddled with corruption was met not with the applause she expected but with anger and resentment.

“Her status was so high,” said Soibam Momon Leima, the president of the now-disbanded Save Sharmila Campaign. “The Iron Lady. So beautiful, so strong.”
In November 2000, Ms. Sharmila, then 28, vowed to stop eating to protest a law that shields soldiers from prosecution for crimes, after a company of Assam Rifles killed 10 civilians.

As her legend grew, people wrote songs about her, a Bollywood film on Manipur will feature a character based on her and her image has graced posters and T-shirts and autorickshaws — her hair unruly, her face pale, a feeding tube attached to her nose. Amnesty International declared her a prisoner of conscience. In 2006, Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel laureate, said that if Ms. Sharmila died, “the whole executive branch of this country” would be responsible. They called her the goddess of Manipur.

But in July, she said she would end her fast, declared her intention to unseat the powerful chief minister of the state, currently serving his third term, and announced her plans to get married, presumably to her boyfriend, Desmond Coutinho, a man described by the local news media as a British citizen of Indian origin, about whom little is known.

On Aug. 9, in front of a throng of journalists, she licked a dab of honey from her hand. After nearly 16 years, Ms. Sharmila, tired of being an icon and saying she did not want to be called a goddess, walked away from her hospital prison.

“They drew me in whatever imagery they wanted of me and they just kept me there and worshiped me,” she said of the public.

That night, as she approached her new home, an angry crowd forced the ambulance carrying her and the police vehicles flanking it to stop. Some recall the crowd hurling abuse, though others maintain that it was a largely silent protest. Dr. Thiyam Suresh Singh, her would-be host, wove through the crowd and approached Ms. Sharmila’s window.

“I’m sorry, the people don’t want you to stay for the time being,” he said. “Forgive me.”

And so Ms. Sharmila was taken away, ending up for a night back in the hospital.

“The people were very angry,” said Ibomcha Sharma Phurailatpam, a 47-year-old government employee who was in the crowd that night. “She was taking so much responsibility for our society. And suddenly, she broke.”

Ms. Sharmila, who protested that her personal life should not concern society, looked pained when asked about the evening of Aug. 9. But she had a message for her public.

“If I continued my fast, then I would have died,” she said in an interview in Imphal. “And if I stopped my fast and decide to change my strategy and you’re against me and you hate me for that, then let my blood wash away all this negativity.”
Irom Chanu Sharmila ended her fast in August by licking a dab of honey from her hand. Credit Anupam Nath/Associated Press

Shortly after that night, seven women came to her hospital room to ask if she might change her mind about abandoning her fast and entering politics. She refused.

“It broke my heart,” said Ms. Momon, who was a part of the group. “If a plant grows and has been groomed so nicely, and suddenly you crush it, it’s like that.”

For weeks after that meeting, Ms. Sharmila lived on the otherwise deserted third floor of an airy ashram on the outskirts of Imphal, at the edge of a dense forest. There she cooked her own meals, climbed the guava trees on the property and slept next to a plastic box encasing a pink teddy bear holding a heart inscribed with the words “I love you,” a gift from Mr. Coutinho, who she says is in Ireland.

“I have been in isolation for almost 16 years,” she said at the ashram. “It’s just also another part of the phase.” She then moved into a friend’s house in Imphal, before moving into her campaign office.

Ms. Momon, a kindly looking woman of 70, remembers Ms. Sharmila as a young woman, cycling to meetings in the late 1990s, when a group of women known as imas, or mothers, had taken to patrolling the neighborhoods in Imphal, confiscating drugs and alcohol and destroying them in public.

Around the same time, Ms. Sharmila also worked as a volunteer for Babloo Loitongbam, a human rights lawyer who was working to document cases of extrajudicial killings.

But about a decade after she began her fast, a rift opened, said Mr. Loitongbam, coinciding with the arrival of Mr. Coutinho. Once, in December 2014 during one of her many court hearings over the years, Ms. Sharmila held his hand in the courtroom in front of the imas, a grave offense in traditional Manipuri society, Ms. Momon said.

“We weren’t happy,” Ms. Momon said. “Suddenly, a man shows up and Sharmila was not showing respect to us.”

The conflict culminated in a confrontation in the court complex after the hearing. The imas said that Mr. Coutinho was insulting Ms. Sharmila’s lawyer, and they went to confront him. When he ran, they roughed him up, Ms. Momon said. Ms. Sharmila was angry.

“I don’t know why they were so violent,” said Ms. Sharmila, who said that the imas “misunderstood” her intentions, that they never really knew her for who she was. Mr. Coutinho did not return an email message requesting comment.

Mr. Loitongbam said the rift was not just about Mr. Coutinho. There were also disagreements about how to use money from human rights prizes Ms. Sharmila was awarded. She wanted to fund global humanitarian causes, and the activist community in Manipur wanted to spend it locally, he said.

“We really don’t know what is happening in her mind,” Mr. Loitongbam said.

Even Ms. Sharmila’s family does not seem happy about the turn her life has taken. “It seems a nonlocal man came and put a venom on Sharmila,” said her mother, Irom Sakhi, adding that “things have been twisted” since he came on the scene. “Things like she’s going to contest elections. Who will support her? How will she win?”

Some in Imphal do support Ms. Sharmila’s decision. Young, educated people, disillusioned by the stagnation from years of corruption, see hope in her candidacy, said Pradip Phanjoubam, editor of The Imphal Free Press, a daily newspaper. Her party has confirmed four candidates for the coming elections, with Ms. Sharmila contesting seats in two different constituencies.

But she has plenty of detractors. In an open-air market in Imphal where imas sell fruit, vegetables and fermented fish, Moirangtham Anita Devi sat in front of mounds of betel nuts and said she was “not happy” with Ms. Sharmila’s decision.

“She was the goddess of Manipur,” she said. “Now, she is just like any other being. Like me.”

Blockade to be lifted only after written assurance : UNC ; Post dists creation, UNC calls meet

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 09 2016: Taking strong exception to the creation of seven new districts, without consulting the stakeholders, the United Naga Council has convened a Naga Peoples’ Consultation meeting on December 12 at 11 am at Senapati. The decision of the UNC to convene the Naga People’s Consultation meeting comes in the wake of the decision of the State Government to create seven new districts last night.

The seven new districts which have been created are Tengnoupal, Kakching, Pherjawl Kamjong, Noney, Jiribam and Kangpokpi (Sadar Hills). In a statement issued to the press today, UNC said that creating the seven new districts is like adding salt to the wound and added that Nagas will not remain silent spectator.

‘Nagas will alone decide their fate and their land. We will not allow any external forces to meddle with the Nagas’ ancestral land,’ said UNC further.

BJP leaders join campaign

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 09 2016: National BJP leaders including BJP, North East co-ordinator Prasant Arora and BJP leaders Jatamba Mard today visited Thoubal and undertook election campaign at Khangabok, Wangjing-Tentha and Lilong ACs, reports our correspondent. Booth level workers’ meeting was also organised by BJP, Khangabok Mandal at Khangabok Meishnam Leikai.

Speaking at the programme, Prasant Arora alleged that the Manipur Government under Congress party has been governing the State not according to the wishes of the people. Issues like economic blockade and communal tension have been created by the State Government. Ibobi-led State Government cannot even improve the infrastructure of educational institutions. BJP should be given a chance to prove that the party can bring growth, development and peace in the State, he added.

Election campaign of Mayengbam Ranjit Singh, intending BJP candidate from Wabagai AC, was also organised by Wabagai Lamkhai, reports our correspondent.

Political gimmick, says Chaoba

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 09 2016: While expressing astonishment at the creation of seven new revenue districts in the State, BJP Manipur Pradesh election management committee convenor Th Chaoba has asserted that the new districts were created not for administrative convenience but for ‘political convenience’. Speaking to media persons at their Nityaipat Chuthek office today, Chaoba said that the people would not be fooled by the latest knee jerk reaction of the Congress Government by creating seven districts.

He remarked that the creation of new districts in haste when the State election is round the corner is aimed at scoring political mileage. He said that he and BJP Manipur Pradesh vice-president M Asnikumar called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday and apprised him about the ongoing economic blockade being imposed by the UNC.

The Prime Minister gave a patient hearing and assured to take up necessary action to end the blockade. With regard to the IED found planted at his residential gate, Chaoba maintained that he has been an active campaigner against all fake encounters.

Seven in one

Imphal Free Press editorial, 10Dec 2016

The use of shock and awe tactics in declaring public policies seems to be coming into vogue after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surgical operations along the Pakistan-India border, professedly to dismantle and destroy “terror dens” in POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir), and then more recently the blitzkrieg on black money on November 8, by declaring the two highest notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 demonetised from the very next day, November 9. In Manipur too, chief minister Okram Ibobi and his crew of Congress legislators, besieged as they are on the eve of the February Assembly election by defecting disloyal politicians as well as by Manipur’s endemic ethnic frictions on account of parallel brands of street politics, chose to stage such a surprise on the people, now reeling under the twin weight of an atrocious blockade which has succeeded in poisoning relations amongst traditional communities, and a cash crunch brought about by the PM’s demonetisation. In a late night cabinet meeting yesterday, the government decided to create seven new districts in addition to the state’s existing nine. For some reason, this major tiding was passed on to only one media organisation, leaving others in the business furious and sour. It is quite likely the news was meant to be relayed to all media outlets through this newspaper to which was communicated the news, but business being business, the newspaper kept the newsbreak as its exclusive. But this cutthroat competition, unwholesome though it may be, is another story. This editorial would much rather study the government’s new and bold initiative, and the likely political controversies and oppositions it may bring about.

Although the news was published rather briefly in only one newspaper today, by now it is clear which are the new districts to be created. There will not be a SADAR Hills district, and from the administrative vantage this is well and good. The shape of SADAR Hills (Selected Area Development and Adminstrative Region) being what it was, encircling the valley with its arms like an octopus, a villager from the foothills adjacent to Bishnupur, such as Sadu, who faced immense difficulty travelling to Senapati HQ to get ordinary official work such as his adhar card done, would still have had to face the same difficulty going to Kangpokpi to get the same job done, Kangpokpi and Senapati being almost of the same distance along the same road from where he is. Now, he will be going to much nearer Noney for his routine official works. To this we may add, ideally it should also be made open to him to get the same job done from adjacent Bishnupur, though belonging to another district, if this is less burden for him. Besides Noney, the other six new districts are Kamjong (till now a part of Ukhrul district), Tengnoupal (till now a part of Chandel district), Pherzawl (till now a part of Churachandpur district), Jiribam (till now a part of Imphal East), Kakching (till now a part of Thoubal district) and Kangpokpi (till now a part of Senapati district).

The government’s new district making strategy is hardly likely to be perfect, no policy can be, but from a first look, it does appear innovative and promising. There should therefore be room for left adjustments in the days ahead. As for instance, if SADAR Hills had been created in its original shape, it would have been much bigger, and touching almost all other districts of the state. Besides the difficult logistics, the district would also have had a somewhat ethnic boundary, it being Kuki dominated. In an ethnic riven state like Manipur, this may have given room for protests of the kind over which we are witnessing a blockade currently. In the new arrangement, this original SADAR Hills region have been broken up and its different parts now attached to adjacent hill districts, some old and others new. The biggest chunk of it will now form the Kangpokpi district. IFP readers will recall, we had in our past editorials suggested SADAR Hills, if it was to be made an separate districts, be not made a single block, but broken up into SADAR-1, SADAR-2… etc., for administrative ease. Although not identical, and probably a coincidence, the government’s district creation decision yesterday has some elements of what we had always envisioned as ideal.

We had also said creating new districts will have no real problems where the new districts belonged purely either to a reserved or a non-reserved category. But when there are overlaps of the two categories of land, there would be problems, for in the non-reserved districts, private ownership of revenue land is a norm, while in the reserved districts, this revenue law does not apply. It goes without saying there will be some overlaps of the nature on the edges of most of the new districts. This will be particularly so in the case of Kangpokpi district, which has retained much of the features of the original SADAR Hills. This is also somewhat predetermined by geography. The mountain ranges in Manipur, and most of the rest of the eastern Himalayan region, run North to South, so that foothills on the northern and southern edges of the Imphal valley are much wider and flatter, therefore more worthy for wet rice cultivation. Kangpokpi to the north and Churachandpur to the south thus have similar topography, and consequently also the land use pattern. It cannot be a coincidence that Kangpokpi and Churachandpur have slowly but surely edge towards modern land tenureship, and it cannot also be a coincidence that they are emerging as the most advanced of satellite townships of the state. Kangpokpi is also relatively cosmopolitan, and to a good degree de-reserved itself, so much so that it even once had a Nepali as its representative in the Assembly. Our suggestion therefore is, wherever there are overlaps of revenue and non-revenue lands in the new districts, allow status quo. If certain reserved tracks of land are left buried within a non-reserved district, or certain revenue lands remain as island in a non-reserved district, let status quo be held there. Maybe these small tracks will be the beginning of a new emotional and legal integration paradigm. If somebody’s paddy fields fall on two different districts, through administrative incentives, let this come to be a matter of good fortune in the new dispensation. Let it be remembered that ultimately every district is part of the same state and everybody is in the same team.

Dists created for administrative convenience, says Ibobi

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | Dec 9

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has asserted that the creation of seven new districts from within the existing districts is purely for the administrative convenience and there should not be any misunderstanding on the government action. This was stated by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh during a one day political conference organised by Chingai Block Congress Committee, Ukhrul District held today at TRI Hall, Chingmeirong, Imphal.

Chief Minister said that creation of new revenue districts will help bring equal development and growth in the interior areas. He said, any misunderstanding arising out of the decision among various sections of the society could be solved with dialogue. He mentioned that creation of revenue districts does not mean sacrificing or compromising land belonging to anyone, as all the land belongs to the government.

Calling for a united stand on the issue irrespective of caste, creed and community he said, we shall maintain unity and oneness. He said that priority to bring development in the remote areas of the state is given top priority by the state Congress Party though there might be some delay in bringing development in the remotest areas. He said that 70-80% of state developmental fund are utilised for the development of hill districts. Implementation of PMGSY is ranked fourth in national level and ranked first in North Eastern State.

O Ibobi said that the districts are very vast and has created inconveniences to the public. He elaborated that falling under same district of Imphal East to Jiribam is about 280 Km, CCpur to Thanlon is 150 Km. Curbing hurdles of distant connectivity and communication, creation of new revenue districts is a purely administrative convenience. All pressure is on to bring electricity in the entire remotely located villages under the Chingai A/c before the Christmas, assured Deputy Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly and also the Chingai MLA MK Preshow Shimray. He appealed for co operation and support for the upcoming election. Congress party is inclusive party which respects secularism and democracy structure of society, said Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam.

Further speaking, he mentioned that 2000 years long history of state reveals the co existence of brotherhood in peace in the state. He lamented saying that some sections of society tried to mislead the beautiful history of state and tried to create chaos amongst us and said that we all must respect and regard our history of brotherhood. Condemning the attack on state Chief Minister on his visit to Ukhrul recently, Gaikhangam said that such heinous act was anti religion and such must not repeat in future.

President Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee TN Haokip, Minister RD & PR Govindas Konthoujam, Parliamentary Secretary/Gen Secy MPCC Victor Keishing, President 45-Chingai BCC PS Vangam and other office bearers of MPCC, Members ADC, Ex-ADC Members, DCC/BCC delegates and Chief of the frontal organisations/cells were also present in the political conference.

State Govt orders creation of 7 new districts

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 08 2016: The State Government under Chief Minister O Ibobi has taken a tough decision and despite the ongoing economic blockade against any decision to upgrade Sadar Hills and Jiribam to district level, the State Government has gone ahead and declared seven new districts.

The new districts thus created are, Tengnoupal, Kakching, Pherjawl (in CCpur ), Kamjong (in Ukhrul), Noney (in Tamenglong), Jiribam (in Imphal East), Kangpokpi (in erstwhile Senapati). Interestingly, Manipur has been reeling under an economic blockade since November 1 against any design of the Govt to declare Sadar Hills and Jiribam as district.

SH Mahila Cong members resign from party

The Sangai Express

Sadar Hills, December 08 2016: Taking strong exception to the alleged ‘betrayal’ over the Sadar Hills district issue as well as following the immense pressure mounted by the JAC for Sadar Hills, members of the Mahila District Congress Committee Sadar Hills have resigned from the primary membership of the Congress party yesterday.

The resignation letter was submitted to the president of Manipur Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee. Signed on behalf of all the members of Sadar Hills Mahila District Congress Committee, Tinkholhing Vaiphei stated in the resignation letter that failure to declare Sadar Hills as a full-fledged district has compelled them to resign from the primary membership of the party.

She also said that the mass resignation letter was submitted as per the resolutions of the Sadar Hills Mahila District Congress Committee meeting held on December 3 at Kangpokpi. Tinkholhing further said that the decision to resign was unanimous in the face of the ‘infamous betrayal’ on the part of the Congress Government led by O Ibobi  even after installing the declaration plaque.

Don’t announce exam dates without asking us : EC tells 5 States

The Sangai Express / PTI

New Delhi, December 08 2016: With Assembly elections due early next year in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, the Election Commission today asked the poll-bound States not to announce examination schedules without consulting it.

“The Commission is aware that the annual examination at various levels of educational institutions in the States are generally due in the first half of the next year.

PM promises all possible assistance

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 08 2016: A team of BJP Manipur Pradesh comprising of Th Chaoba, vice president M Asinikumar and executive member Robert  met Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, today at 12.50 pm at his Parliament House office. The unimaginable hardships being faced by the citizens of Manipur due to the prolonged economic blockade on the National Highways imposed by the UNC was the focal point of the meeting which lasted for 25 minutes.

The Prime Minister not only gave a patient hearing to the team but also enquired about various problems. He promised that all possible assistance would be put in place in right earnest to address the immediate problems confronting Manipur. He assured to look into the prolonged economic blockade. He also promised steps to usher Manipur into a phase of improved and shared prosperity.

UNC chief Gaidon Kamei rearrested
Gaidon and Stephen remanded to 7 days police custody

IMPHAL | Dec 8

United Naga Council (UNC) president, Gaidon Kamei and publicity secretary of the council, Sangkhel Stephen, were formally re-arrested by the Tadubi police station today from the court complex of Chief Judicial Magistrate, (CJM) Imphal East and remanded to custody of Tadubi police for seven days.

The UNC leaders who were earlier arrested by the Mao police in connection with a case registered with the concerned police station under FIR No. 12(11)2016 MAO-PS under section 147/149/436/427/124 A/120-B/506/153A IPC on November 25 and remanded to custody of the Mao police for 14 days. The remand was granted by the CJM, Senapati as duty Magistrate the next day from the date of the arrest of the UNC leaders.

MCP claims bomb threat

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | Dec 8

The Maoist Communist Party, (MCP) has claimed responsibility for the bomb threat at the residence of Th Choaba, convenor, State Election Management Committee, Bharatiya Janata Party, Manipur Pradesh. The statement issued by the outfit said the bomb threat was a warning to Th Chaoba and BJP for their widespread involvement in the corrupt practices. The MCP further said the bomb threat is also a stern warning against Th Choaba for defending former DGP Y Joykumar  who has been branded as the “Executioner” by the oufit.

Committee formed

The Sangai Express
Dec 07, 2016

Thoubal district branch committee of the “Peoples’ Committee for Free & Fair Election in Manipur” was formed today. It was formed during a meeting of different people representing different Assembly Constituencies under Thoubal district on Dec 4 at Kshetri Shanglen, Thoubal, informed a statement. Khaidem Mani, State Convenor of Peoples’ Committee for Free & Fair Election in Manipur, Professor L Sadananda, Dr M Nara , Dr Ksh Manglem, former CMO, Thoubal and AK Sanaton , senior journalist presided the meeting.

The aims and objectives of the committee include monitoring the election in Manipur for ensuring free & fair election, campaigning for strict compliance of the model code of conduct/election guidelines issued by the State Election Authority and fighting against malpractices, interferences in the election process by illegal means.

Violence has no place in developed society: CM

Imphal Free Press
THOUBAL | December 7

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi  has said that killing people is an act of cowardice and violence has no place in shaping a developed and peaceful society. Speaking at the observance function of the 22nd Death Anniversary of Moirangthem Ibotombi held at Heirok Part 2, Mayai Leikai today, Ibobi said any kind of violence and killing of people do not help achieve any goal rather make it elusive.

The observance function was organised by Moirangthem Ibotombi Memorial Trust,Heirok under the theme  “Aphaba khunnai amagi-damak apikpa wakhal thadoklasi’’ in memory of the late Moirangthem Ibotombi, a former minister who represented Heirok Assembly constituency for a long time. In the function, floral tribute were paid to the portriat of the late leader led by Chief Minister.

Reiterating that the late leader Moirangthem Ibotombi was shot dead but even after 22 years the reason behind his killing is not known as nobody claimed the responsibility, Ibobi said instead of resorting to killing people they should be given a chance to rectify their mistakes as killing provides no solution.

Time has come for deliverance of Nagas : Anthony Ningkhan Shimray
Naga integration still on the radar of NSCN (IM)

The Sangai Express

Ukhrul, December 07 2016: Senior NSCN (IM) leader, Lt Gen Anthony Ningkhan Shimray has categorically stated that Nagas would be free from Indian political domination and added that the 70 years of struggle of the Nagas will be politically resolved soon. Anthony Ningkhan Shimray who was imprisoned for more than 5 years in Tihar jail came to his home town at Ukhrul district headquarters for the first time today after his release on bail in August to have a public discourse.

Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) on behalf of the Tangkhul community accorded a warm welcome to the NSCN (IM) leader at TNL ground today. Speaking at the felicitation programme, the senior NSCN (IM) leader said that after 70 years of relentless struggle, the Naga issue will be politically resolved soon. Anthony asserted that the Naga issue will be resolved on the basis of the unique history of the Naga people and added that the Framework Agreement of 2015 will override the 16 Points Programme and the Shillong Accord signed earlier.

Under this agreement, Naga Nation would be established and the NSCN (IM) will create a new history, for under the agreement Nagas will be treated as a separate entity, added Shimray.

MPTC seeks Governor’s intervention

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 07 2016: Manipur Pradesh Trinamool Congress (MPTC) has urged for the Governor’s immediate intervention into the protracted issue of economic blockade and the retaliatory counter economic blockade besieging the State. Speaking to media persons at their office today, former MP and MPTC president Kim Gangte said that people of the State have been facing lots of hardship due to the economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC) on the National Highways of the State against creation of Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts which have not yet been announced by the Government Asking the UNC why they have been prolonging the economic blockade for such a long time, Kim Gangte urged the UNC to lift the economic blockade along the National Highways in the larger interest of the public.

Various organizations have already appealed to the UNC to lift the economic blockade but UNC has not been paying any heed. Anguished by the prolonged economic blockade, some sections of people have imposed counter economic blockade. It is rather confusing that the Government is not able to solve the issue till today, she remarked. She went on to ask why the BJP led Central Government has been acting as a silent spectator all these days without ever bothering to intervene. Both the State and Central Governments have failed to address the issue with the degree of seriousness it deserves.

Manipur already soaked in election colours
National People’s Alliance hopes to get lucky in the Feb 2017 Assembly polls

DNA, 7 Dec 2016

As one moves through the central part of the state capital, colours of an impending Assembly polls dart its streets, seamlessly merging into the olive green of Army which stands guard across the city. Being a north eastern state, it is easy to assume that Imphal would be away from the boisterous, vociferous and pompous trappings of elections till you find huge billboards of BJP chief Amit Shah cheek by jowl with other advertisements.

Saffron is all across the city, giving an impression that the anti-incumbency wave is firmly sweeping the voters, till one comes across late PA Sangma smiling from one of the posters of National People’s Party, sharing space with his son and MP Conrad Sangma. Manipur goes to polls in February, riding on age old key agendas of employment, infrastructure and repealing of Armed Forces Special Protection Act (AFSPA).

The Congress which has been reigning for the last 15 years will face a direct battle for 60 seats with arch rival BJP that has been non-existent here till 2014. These elections also hold a special interest among Manipuris as Irom Sharmila will field herself for the first time, a decision which has not gone down well with a lot of natives. “We want to see her as a social worker, not a politician. People here have still not forgiven her for ending the fast as they feel betrayed. Besides, since she does not possess qualities of a good leader, she won’t be of much help to the AFSPA cause even if she wins,” T Neina, a local feels.

Other than a clear mandate on Sharmila, it is difficult to gauge which way the wind is blowing.

Manipur State polls 37 NPF ticket seekers for 15 seats

The Sangai Express / Nagaland Post

Dimapur, December 07 2016: NPF Manipur unit has decided to contest in 15 Assembly Constituencies for the forthcoming 2017 Manipur Assembly elections, informed NPF media in a statement on Tuesday. For this, 37 intending candidates have applied for ticket including eight in 41 Chandel A/C.In this regard, a consultative meeting with all intending candidates who have applied for NPF ticket to contest the ensuing Manipur state general election was held at the NPF Central office Kohima, under the chairmanship of the NPF president Dr Shürhozelie Liezetzsu.

The meeting was also attended by chief Minister TR Zeliang and Minister of School Education and in-charge of NPF Manipur State unit, Yitachu. At the meeting party president Dr Shürhozelie informed that the candidatures in six A/C have been cleared and efforts were on to finalize the remaining without delay. He further informed that the announcement and distribution of tickets would be done simultaneously.

Dr Shürhozelie, TR Zeliang and Yitachu also explained on the difficult position of the party, making it clear that ticket will be given to only one candidate and appealed to all aspiring candidates to abide by their commitments (to abide by the rules and regulation of the party constitution) and work in support of the NPF candidate whoever gets the ticket, the statement stated. Earlier, NPF Manipur state unit president, Awangbow introduced all the NPF ticket seekers to the gathering.

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown: Issues besieging the State

The Sangai Express editorial 8 Dec 2016

Chief Minister O Ibobi must be a worried man. For all his shortcomings, it has to be admitted that he has his hands full. Just take a look at the reality. The economic blockade is still underway and there is no indication that it will be lifted any time soon. On the other hand, the Congress stands boycotted at Sadar Hills, over the failure of the State Government to grant district status to it. This is the present and no one can say how things will develop in the near future. Yes in a few days time, the election code of conduct will be enforced, but be sure that the demand for a mechanism to check the inflow of non-local people into the State will pick up pace, if the recent announcement of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) is anything to go by. Not sure how things will unfold, but issues will continue to dog the State and the people and to be sure the other political parties, particularly the BJP will not leave any opportunity to take a dig at the Congress, keeping in mind the upcoming Assembly election. Then remember there is also the demand that the Meeteis/Meiteis be included in the Scheduled Tribe list under the Constitution of India. So far the State Government has not officially stated its position over this question, but the Co-ordinating Body of the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee (CBSTDCM) had already asked the State Government to recommend the same to the Centre earlier. What progress has the State Government made on this point ? Moreover remember there are others who have voiced their opposition to this demand. How Chief Minister O Ibobi and the Congress manage to walk the tight rope without ruffling the feather of either side remains to be seen.

Not a comfortable position to be in, by any stretch of the imagination and while there will be some who will hold the view that these issues, particularly the issue of granting district status to Sadar Hills, have been played up with an eye on the coming Assembly election, it remains that none of these issues may be resolved easily. It will take more than political acumen to make everyone come to an understanding. Other than the issues which have been mentioned here, there is also the politics of push and pull, seen through the prism of the ongoing political dialogue between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India. However much the Centre may say that the territorial integrity of other States will not be compromised while chalking out a final settlement with the outfit, it remains that the NSCN (I) has not officially dropped the demand of integrating all Naga inhabited areas under one political unit. This line of thought has been picked up by various Naga civil society organisations and this is a point which would not have missed the attention of the State Government. And it also stands that this question can and will impact on the voting pattern of the people. It would therefore not be a surprise if one sees a deeply polarised election, with the hill districts, particularly the Naga dominated districts adopting a different voting pattern and the valley area adopting a different approach, come 2017.

Politricks on the stage: Will BJP cross the Rubicon in the January polls?

By Hiyang Athouba

Dec 08, 2016
The Sangai Express

Usually a sitting MLA wins the next election or by-election, especially so when two MLAs, Joykisan and Biswajit became victims of political chicanery. Despite repeated claims by Gaikhangam that the Modi wave has not crossed the high mountains to make a landfall the movers and shakers of BJP are confident that the Congress governments in the NE will be stamped out.

But the ground realities are something different in Manipur. People have not forgotten how the local newspapers published screaming headlines on the way the Hiyanglam voters were bribed as high as Rs 5000 each during the by-election. There was not even a perfunctory denial from the candidates and parties which include BJP.

The only political weapon to sandbag the ruling Congress is the corruption charge. The centre has failed to establish a single case so far. The promise to bring out a booklet listing ten scams is yet to see the light of the day. Instead of this election strategy the “corrupt” Congress ministers should have been incarcerated. It has not been done so far. Why?

Ibobi once calmly said in a small place like Manipur people know who is corrupt or not. It might have been a warning not to pelt stones at the glass house if you happen to stay in another. And MLAs like Nambol Loken shall not remain silent if BJP opens the pandora’s box. BJP leaders have been shouting from the housetop that they have a soft corner for the Northeast. The improvement of NH 37 was included in the must do within the first 100 days of the Modi govt. But it was silently dropped so as to make NH 2 the only operational lifeline where taxes with fancy names are extorted. No finger was lifted against the failures of the BRTF despite pumping in of milliions of Rupees. It should shame the nation that it is the drivers and transporters who improved this bridle path with their own money while

Modi is busy with demonetisation and digital change over. It was in fitness of things that Rs 100 crore was earmarked for the sports university since our sportspersons have outshone others. The site was inspected and approved by the experts. Now ahead of the elections the centre finds obstacles and people are not amused that the centre galvanised so only after 2 years. If BJP does not come to power this time the university may wait for another 5 years.

It will not be out of place to regale the readers with the “love for the Northeasterners” with the discrimination against one Manipuri baby by the Modi government. The young grand daughter of a journalist was admitted in Ganga Ram hospital, Delhi as she was suffering from blood cancer. Parents of other patients advised the father of the Manipuri girl to apply to the PMO since Rs 500,000 is given from the Prime Minister’s fund. All the children who happened to be from big states of the Hindi belt got the assistance.

Dr T Meinya strongly recommended the Manipuri girl. The girl’s father submitted the application to the PMO. He was advised to collect information from a telephone which was never picked up. Cancer treatment is an expensive process and the help from the PM’s fund would have been highly appreciated. Despite repeated efforts the haughty officials in the PMO refused to explain why the Manipuri girl was denied the help extended to others. Well, the BJP big shots in Imphal would better explain it. Because the matter will keep on coming in the national media. Besides Narendra Modi and Amit Shah may face embarrassing questions during press conferences in Imphal ahead of the elections. If the granddaughter of a journalist can thus be swept under the doormat what would be the fate of the commoners for whom BJP claims to stand?

At an average there are 5 BJP aspiring candidates in most of the constituencies. They are hoodwinking and confusing the voters with their electioneering. But only one of them will get the party ticket and the disgruntled jilted four will become hostile and this will be suicidal for the party as a whole. The scramble for the BJP is so maddening that even some persons who are facing CBI probe had joined the band wagon.

Can the political din actually dim the track record of 15 years in power?

NPF starts screening Manipur election candidates

Eastern Mirror

Dimapur, Dec. 6: The Naga People’s Front (NPF) has begun screening individuals aspiring to be the party’s candidates in Manipur to contest in the state’s forthcoming elections. The party has finalized six candidates thus far, the organization informed in a press release that was issued on Tuesday.

The party’s media cell informed of a meeting on Tuesday in which Chief Minister TR Zeliang and Education Minister Itachu (in-charge of Manipur’s NPF unit) were stated to have attended. The individuals who applied for the NPF’s ticket to contest in the forthcoming Manipur state general elections in early 2017 were examined during the meeting, it was informed. The event was at the NPF’s central office in Kohima town. The meeting was president over by NPF President Dr Shürhozelie Liezetzsu.

Ibobi condoles Jayalalithaa

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | Dec 6

The Chief Minister of Manipur today condoled the sad demise of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Okram Ibobi in a condolence message said, “We have lost a great leader, a far sighted politician who stood for the poor and the downtrodden”. The CM also stated that the Jayalalithaa demise is a great loss not only for the people but also for the whole nation and extended the condolence message on behalf of the people of the state.

1 hr shutdown observed to demand ST status

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 06 2016: Life in several parts of Manipur valley was disrupted as people observed a one-hour total shutdown to demand inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe category under the Constitution. Organised under the banner of the Coordinating Body on Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Manipur, markets in Imphal and other valley districts were closed.

Traffic was brought to a grinding halt on roads, including highways. All normal activities were suspended during the course of the one hour-long demonstration. A large number of women vendors of the historic Ima Keithel in Khwairamband market squatted on the road as part of the demonstration. They also staged a rally within the bazar area shouting several slogans.

MPP decries

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 06 2016: Denouncing the ongoing economic blockade on the National Highways, MPP today said that the matter of forming or not forming a district in a State is the sole prerogative of the State Government. In a statement, the party decried the UNC’s claim that the land of Nagas cannot be intersected while forming districts and appealed all the communities not to indulge in communal-centric activities. Expressing worry on the territorial claims made on communal line in the State, MPP asked what the fate of the State will be if it is divided on community lines.

Khurai CPI takes out rally

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL| December 6

 Communist Party of India, Khurai Local Council, All Manipur Nupi Marup, Khurai Area has organised a public rally from Khabeisoi to Lamlong of Imphal East demanding both State and Central government to bring solution to the issue of UNC at the earliest. The rally protest also demanded UNC to uplift its economic blockade along Manipur’s National Highways which has severely affected all the people living in Manipur.

Speaking to media at the side line of the rally, RK Amusana, State executive member, Manipur State Council, CPI and an intending candidate in the upcoming general assembly election 2017 from Khurai A/C,  condemned O Ibobi led Congress government in state and Narendra Modi led BJP government in Centre for diverting the issue while playing blame game among themselves. Instead of trying to solve the core issue and address the difficulties faced by general public because of the economic blockade imposed by UNC since November 1, the two governments remain a mere spectator while playing blame games, he said.

BJP leader in Mayang Imphal joins Congress

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | Dec 6

With another wind of change in state political scenario, sitting BJP Chairperson Mayang Imphal Municipal Council Bm Safiullah @ Chaoba has today joined congress political party. His incoming ceremony was held with a programme at Congress Bhavan in the presence of MPCC President TN Haokip.

On the occasion Minister Education Kh Ratankumar  said that Narendra Modi led Central Government is anti people, anti Muslim and anti minority. He said that BJP Government initiated programmes brought negative response. He said that congress party is open for all who has the sentiments for capacity building bringing growth and development of the society.

“Bhramastra” of Congress

Imphal Times Editorial, 6 Dec 2016

Hindu Mythology says Bhramastra is one of the most powerful weapons that can put an end to the entire world. This powerful weapon is a threat to the enemy as well as to the entire humanity. So the Hindu Mythology defines the character of those having it as Man of self respect, who were committed to save the people from the hands of the destroyers.

The battle ground for the upcoming 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election is all set. Legislative Assembly election of the state will be conducted along with four other states – Punjab, Goa, Uttarkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Political analysts are expecting the election to be held around February middle week or last week.  Even as nobody can ascertain the exact date of the legislative election, one thing which is sure is that 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election will be held before early weeks of March. After all the ECI had yesterday called on for all Political party meeting by issuing notification.

Time and again Imphal Times had opines that in Manipur, there seems to be no room for a third political party or forum in the upcoming election. It is going to be a tough fight between the congress and the BJP.  Unlike Delhi where newly emerged APP threw out the ruling Congress government, political spectrum in the state of Manipur is different. In a state like Manipur, where majority of the people think that “Nation comes after family”, it is always the ruling political party which is always in the forefront of getting more seats. But this time, as BJP is in power at the center, it will be an easy task for the party to return back to power.

Understanding the situation, Okram Ibobi  led congress government had also set out their political strategy since April this year. Around 600 posts at various government departments in addition to the recruitment of 2000 plus police constable has been started. Leave aside the legality, it’s an open secret on why so much recruitment at a time election is just some few months away. On the other hand many incomplete structures which were left at public spare untouched and unnoticed were hurriedly inaugurated.

For most of the candidates who will go with the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, grass root level works to get more voters is almost completed. The BJP too, is lagging behind from the Congress. As it is in power at the center, Union Ministers, State Ministers and other leaders who can influence the Union government have been frequented. People in the state too, knowing the fact that BJP is the only alternative political party to the Congress have doing everything to win the voters.

Now, as BJP stands as the lone political rival Congress Party still worried as fulfilling each and every voter is an impossible task. And what is more worried is the larger politics that BJP might play. With multiple problems of various ethnic base issues, it is likely that the Congress may win at some constituencies in valley districts, with the prevailing crisis being faced by the people chances are less for the Congress, to win at the 20 constituencies at Hill district unless it use the one left instrument “Brahmastra”.

Yeah, it is about declaration of the Sadar Hill district as a full revenue district. If it is done Congress may face the music at some 6 to 8 assembly constituencies but it will be far more easy to get more seats in the remaining 52 Assembly constituencies. “Brahmastra” or  “No-Brahmastra” it remains to the wisdom of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi who will decide the fate of Congress party in Manipur.

BJP political meet

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | Dec 5

A one-day political meeting of BJP Mahila Morcha Khoupum area under the directive of the BJP Nungba Mandal was held yesterday at Khoupam Bazar of 54-Nungba assembly constituency in view of the upcoming state assembly election, said a release. It further said the meeting was attended by vice-president of BJP Nungba Mandal Makuphun Rongmei and the president of BJP Mahila Morcha Khoupum area Alanliu Rongmei as the chief guest and president respectively.

UNC passes the buck to Centre

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | December 5

The United Naga Council, UNC has asserted that the on-going indefinite economic blockade including banning of construction of Trans Asian Railways and National Projects will continue alleging that the state government had miserably failed to honour the MoUs signed in the past and the written assurance given by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, said a release.

Stating that the Naga people had protested five times against the state government’s decision of upgrading Sadar Hills and Jiribam Sub-Division into full-fledged districts, the release said all those agitations concluded in signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) between the Government of Manipur and the Naga people. In these MoUs it is always mentioned that “all the stakeholders would be consulted” and the last written assurance given by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs also stated that “all section of the people and stakeholders including the bodies representing the Nagas would be consulted”, but the government failed to keep its words, it added.

BJP meets Guv on blockade impasse

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | December 5

Former Congress MLA Nongthombam Biren who resigned from the party and joined the BJP in October said a team of the BJP today met the Governor Najma Heptulla on the United Naga Council’s indefinite economic blockade and the subsequent deadline set by United Committee Manipur to end the blockade. Speaking to media persons at the official quarter which he occupied as the Heingang MLA this evening, Biren said the BJP state unit has already apprise the Union Home Minister Rajnath  on the issue prevailing in the state in the aftermath of the Sadar Hills issue.

During the press meet, he was accompanied by BJP MLA Th Biswajit, party spokesperson RK Shivachandra and former MLA Francis Ngajokpa who also left the Congress and joined the BJP along with N Biren. He elaborated further that the Union Home Minister has already intimated to the state government to use central forces in controlling the economic blockade and to maintain free and smooth traffic of essential commodities along the national highways.

CM Ibobi inaugurates Nilakuthi food park

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | December 5

Chief Minister O Ibobi  inaugurated the Food Processing Park at Nilakuthi, Imphal East today. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister stressed the role of private participation in giving employment to the unemployed youths. He said that economy of the State would improve if there is the habit of working without wasting time.

The government is seriously putting its efforts to provide employment to the unemployed youths of the state. To this end, the state government has already taken policy decision to introduce Manipur Start Up Policy which will benefit both skilled and unskilled unemployed youths in the State, he continued. Only some states of India like Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and West Bengal have introduced such policy and the government is examining which model would be most appropriate for Manipur.

Fair election campaign kicks off

The Sangai Express

Senapati, December 05 2016: To promote free and fair election, Senapati district administration in collaboration with Churches in Senapati has organized a public rally and signature campaign today, reports our correspondent. The programme was also attended by DC C Arthur W, CEO of Senapati ADC Rang Peter, Senapati SP K Kabib, Church leaders and members of local civil bodies.

DC Arthur asserted that the district administration and Churches have taken such initiative to bring better change by encouraging the general public to choose the path of honesty during the upcoming Assembly election. He said that the campaign provides a platform for sincere people who could disseminate just and righteous path even in election. DC Arthur said that successful implementation of free and fair election could set an example for other districts and other parts of the country.

Issues which will impact on polls : Congress at the centre of it all

The Sangai Express Editorial 6 December 2016 

Ongoing economic blockade. District status or not to Sadar Hills and Jiribam. Demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. These are the issues which will impact on the upcoming Assembly election and it remains to be seen how the different political parties play these issues to garner support from the voters. And to be sure the Congress and the BJP will leave nothing to chance to exploit these issues to their advantage. How well they manage to win the voters over remains to be seen, but it stands that the Congress which did remarkably well in the 2012 Assembly election, winning 42 seats in the 60 seat Assembly, has not been able to translate the massive mandate it received at the hustings to something concrete at the ground level.

This is best exemplified by its failure to act on the district status question. The result is the suffering of the common people.  As things stand today, the Congress remains boycotted at all the hill districts, with the Naga dominated districts, having said a firm no to the Congress and Churachandpur following suit after the Assembly passed the three Bills on August 31 last year.  The party has also been boycotted at Sadar Hills, which has three Assembly segments, following the alleged last minute decision to roll back the move to grant district status to Sadar Hills.

The best bet for the Congress therefore remains the valley area, which gets to send 40 MLAs in the House of 60. Even here it will not be an easy ride for remember the BJP is breathing down its neck, best exemplified by the run-away victory of the BJP in the by election to two Assembly Constituencies. Not everything looks good for the Congress and this is something which the BJP will not miss. However so far the BJP has not spelt out its stand on the demand to grant district status to Sadar Hills and Jiribam.

What is the stand of the BJP on these two issues? Or will it be politically prudent for the party not to make any public stand on these two issues? How about the stand of the other political parties? Moreover what has happened to much tom-tommed slogan tribal solidarity that was bandied about, especially after the three Bills were passed last year?  How will the question of district status to Sadar Hills impact on the voters of Churachandpur which has six Assembly segments?

Tough to say but when election time comes, all these questions will certainly be played out and how well prepared is the Congress to deal with these issues, is the question that comes naturally. Probably in a few days time the election model code of conduct will come into force and clearly Chief Minister O Ibobi and his Council of Ministers will have to make up their mind soon or else the Congress will go to the polls looking totally unprepared.

Councillor switches side from BJP to Cong Enraged BJP workers storm residence

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 05 2016: Enraged BJP workers stormed the residence of Thangmeiband Ward no 3 Councillor H Nutunchandra, today after he defected to the Congress party. A large group of enraged BJP workers stormed the residence of the Councillor in the afternoon but a team of Imphal West police including some women police arrived at the scene to prevent any unwanted incident from happening.

The workers also burnt an effigy of Nutunchandra and raised many slogans expressing their deep disappointment. Maibam ongbi Memtombi, a resident of ward no 3, said,” The councillor has betrayed us by taking away funds and promising to construct drainage systems, provide old age pension, housing loans and to construct low cost sanitary latrines. He seems to have fled from BJP because we asked him to clean up the garbage and filth.”

BJP intending candidates question

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 05 2016: Altogether nine candidates vying for BJP tickets in Bishnupur AC have questioned the development programmes taken up during the past five years in the Assembly segment. Notably, Pukhrambam Kumarjit, Moirangthem Rajendro, Asem Dorendro, Khundrakpam Jibon, N Sanajaoba, Prof Th Yaima, Oinam Ibochouba, Oinam Jugeshwar and Khundrakpam Bhabeshwar are vying for the BJP ticket in Bishnupur AC.

Speaking to media persons at Manipur Press Club here today, they said that MLA Govindas Konthoujam laid the foundation stone for construction of a maternity ward of Ningthoukhong PHC on March 4, 2014.

While speaking at the foundation stone laying function, Govindas reportedly stated that the area set aside for the maternity ward was earlier occupied by a Veterinary Centre and it had been shifted to a place of Ningthoukhong Ward No 4.Though the said area was a khashland, Govindas claimed that it was bought at Rs 60 lakh, said the intending candidates. They went on to ask from whom the said plot was purchased.

The new maternity ward has been named Krishnagopal Memorial Maternity Hospital and it is estimated construction of the ward would cost Rs 9.78 crore. They asked from where the required amount would be drawn. On the pretext of constructing a community hall at Ningthoukhong Chingning which is non-existent, Rs 9,33,334 was withdrawn in the name of one Th Munal from the MLA Local Area Development. Another Rs 35 lakh was withdrawn from the MLA Local Area Development Fund in the name of digging a pond at Ningthoukhong Awang Ward No 15 although a pond was already there and no new pond was dug.

The intending BJP candidates further alleged that Rs 1.80 crore was swindled out of the MLA Local Area Development Fund between 2008 and 2016.

Andro residents set deadline for MLA

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 05 2016: Residents of Andro have set a five day deadline for MLA Thounaojam Shyamkumar to fix the road between Ngaariyan Chingkhong and Andro Khoibu. In a press meet organised by Andro Nagar Panchayat, All Andro Youths Club Association and Andro Meira Paibi Association at Andro bazar, Leishungbam Lukhoi, chairperson of the Nagar Panchayat, said that the people of Andro have set a five day deadline for the MLA to fix the aforementioned road.

He said that the 12 kilometres long stretch of road has been lying neglected after some initial work long time back and the dust is creating complications among the residents, mostly children. People have also been injured by the stones kicked up by the tyres of vehicles plowing the road, he said.

UCM sets Dec 7 deadline for UNC to roll back blockade

The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 04 2016: Setting December 7 midnight as the deadline for the UNC to roll back the ongoing economic blockade, the UCM has today announced that if the blockade is not called off by then, they would be constrained to launch a series of movement. Speaking to reporters at the office of UCM at Lamphelpat today, its president Elangbam Johnson said that the decision to chart out its own course of action was taken after a series of consultative meeting.

Appealing to the UNC to roll back the economic blockade, Johnson expressed hope that their appeal would be responded to positively. However if the appeal of the people is not heeded then UCM will take out its own course of action against the blockade, added Johnson. The UCM president also expressed hope that the people of Manipur, cutting across community line, will extend their co-operation to the proposed anti-blockade move- ment.

UNC points accusing finger at Govt

The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Senapati, December 04 2016: The United Naga Council (UNC) has asked the Manipur Government to stop “using force against the innocent people” along the highways. “For how long the Manipur Government can use force against the people who are carrying out a democratic movement?” it asked.

The United Naga Council (UNC) while informing its position to Newmai News Network this evening clarified that its sponsored economic blockade is not meant to target the general public but “we are expressing our opposition to the plan of the Manipur Government to create Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts”.

The UNC said that the Manipur Government should declare its position “loud and clear” to the people on the issue of Sadar Hills and Jiribam. “The Manipur Government should make its position clear on the issue instead of remaining silent,” the UNC asserted. According to the UNC, the Manipur Government’s failure to send its representatives on November 15 to Delhi for talk in New Delhi meant that “it does not want to resolve the issue peacefuly.

“When the Government of India invited the UNC and Manipur Government to hold a talk on November 15, we (UNC) went with a hope to resolve the issue peacefully but the Manipur Government did not send its representatives,” the UNC alleged, adding, “It is the Manipur Government which is trying to create more trouble in the State”. The UNC also alleged that the Manipur Government was discreetly trying to declare Sadar Hills and Jiribam as districts on October 31. “But its plan was exposed by the Nagas,” said the UNC and asked, “So, who is to be blamed for the prevailing situation in Manipur?” The UNC asked the Manipur Government to uphold the Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on the issue and to also honour the assurance given by the Central Government through the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The UNC also accused the Manipur Government of “working very hard” to paint the Nagas “in a bad light”. The Naga body said that its president Gaidon Kamei and its information secretary SK Stephen should be released unconditionally without further delay. “They are not criminals,” the UNC stated.

Intending Cong candidate in Ukhrul AC Blessing ceremony for Alfred held

The Sangai Express

Ukhrul, December 04 2016: Intending Congress candidate from Ukhrul AC, AS Alfred Kanngam Arthur today urged the voters to exercise their franchise rights in a fair manner to uproot corruption from the State and ensure social, economic and political equity for all. Speaking at his blessing ceremony at Shangsomi area near New Canaan village, Alfred said that in a democracy the people are given the right to decide who will represent them and it is therefore important that the voters understand the immense responsibility that comes during election time.

Spelling out his agenda for the people, Alfred said that if the people repose faith in him and elect him, then he will take up the necessary steps to improve agro-based economy of the villages which will lead to development. Improving the agro based economy will address the problem of unemployment to a large extent, he said and added that will check the youngsters from venturing to the metros of India to seek employment.

Minister Govindas disrupts BJP meeting

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | Dec 4

Senior Congress Minister Govindas Konthoujam has been accused of disrupting a BJP rally at Ningthoukhong, as poll campaign intensifies in the wake of ensuing assembly elections. The incident occurred at Ningthoukhong market, Bishnupur district at around 1.30 pm today during a BJP street corner meeting. The meeting was organized by BJP Bishnupur mandal and nine aspiring candidates to highlight the leakages in the various developmental works and government sponsored programs as obtained from RTI queries. As they put up the festoon and PA system and began the street corner meeting, one sub-inspector approached them and asked whether they had a permit. After the necessary papers were shown, the police went away.

Kpi block Congress leaders merge with SHDP

Imphal Free Press
KANGPOKPI | December 4

Subsequent to the mass resignation from the Congress party over the issue of Sadar Hills, the Congress leaders and workers of Kangpokpi Block joined the Sadar Hills Democratic Party. The resigned leaders and workers of Kangpokpi Block Congress Committee had merged with the Sadar Hills Democratic Party in a joint meeting held on December 2 at the office Chamber of ADC Sadar Hills Chairman, Haokholal Hangshing, who is also the Leader of Sadar Hills Democratic Party in the presence of Deputy Leader SHDP, Thangjakam Misao.

While welcoming the resigned Congress leaders and workers of Kangpokpi Block into the party, Leader of SHDP, Haokholal Hangshing extended the party sincere gratitude and appreciated for their decision in merging with the party stating that it is a ‘right decision’ on the part of the resigned Congress leaders and workers.

‘North Eastern states has progressed under Modi’

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | Dec 4

Under the abled leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the North Eastern states have witnessed a lot of visible positive and constructive changes, a former member of the Central Advisory Board of Education Sougaijam Priyokumar  told media persons today. He was speaking at a press meet held at his Moirangkhom Sougaijam Leirak residence today.

Priyokumar who took voluntary retirement on September 1, 2004 as associate professor of DM College of Science said he started working for the BJP political party since 1985. Elaborating on his efforts, he said he has been submitting satellite based Nagaland Development report and vision document on education, electricity and environmental issues. He added that his compilation was appreciated by the Governor of Nagaland.