Chapter 40

First phase poll concludes peacefully with 84 percent turnout

Imphal Free Press, IMPHAL | Mar 4

The first phase election of the 11th general elections to legislative Assembly of Manipur, comprising of 38 assembly constituencies in six districts concluded peacefully without any major incident with a record voter turnout of 84 percent. The turnout however is tentative and the figure will increase as the result for 28 percent of the polling stations, which are situated in remote areas without communication, are still awaited.

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Manipur, Vivek Kumar Dewangan, addressing a press conference said the final figure for the first phase is expected to be completed by tomorrow evening as the election office is planning to air lifted about 70 polling personnel from Vangai range, Henglep and Tipaimuk by noon.

Responding to queries on possibilities of re-poll, the CEO informed that so far there are no reports of any re-poll but complaints have been received from certain polling stations in Churachandpur, Saikul. The scrutiny of the complaint will be conducted tomorrow in presence of the general observers, Returning Officer concerned and later passed on to Election Commission of India (ECI) who will take the decision whether to conduct re-poll.

The voting started since 7 am and ended peacefully at 3 pm except for some stray incidents like attempt for proxy voting, confrontation between supporters of different political parties etc. In certain areas the voting process had to be delayed for about an hour as some Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) encountered technical error.

In Imphal East the total voter turnout was recorded 87 percent, 86.9 percent in Imphal West, 87.8 percent in Bishnupur district, 80 percent in Kangpokpi districts, 68 percent in Churachandpur district and 68 percent in newly created Pherzawl district. The voter turnout in each districts are very high when compared to last election held in 2012. The total turnout in 2012 election the total figure for the first phase election was 77.18 percent and 76.1 percent in 2009 Lok Sabha election.

The CEO attributed the high voter turnout to the success SVEEP campaign which was spread headed by joint CEO. Further responding to queries on any major incidents taken place during the voting hour, the CEO said there was not report of any major violence or booth capturing except for some complaints. He said that the CEO office received a complaint of an alleged attack on the candidate of PRJA before adding that a FIR has been lodged in connection with the incident and necessary action will be taken.

The CEO further revealed that his office also received alleged threat on voters in certain areas of Henglep, saikot, saikul by pressure groups including militants.

A total of 11,32,525 lakhs voters including 7084 service elector exercise their franchise in 1643 polling stations and 1291 polling station locations in the first phase to decide the fate of 168 candidates in the fray including 7 female candidates.

In all 8404 polling personnel, 9338 police personnel excluding central paramilitary forces were deployed.

Apart from the deployment of CPF at every polling station many other alternative arrangements were also done at critical polling stations.

A total of 1643 android app-based mobile phones and video cameras were deployed to capture untowards poll incidents and web casting was done at 1643 locations.

More than 61.05 percent of licensed arms were deposited before the Election in order to conduct peaceful and trouble-free elections.

PRJA convenor Erendro attacked
The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 04 2017: People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) convenor and candidate for Thang-meiband A/C, Erendro Leichonbam was attacked today by a group of people at Thangmeiband Sinam Leikai during the first phase of the 11th State Assembly election.

Speaking to media persons at his residence at Hi- jam Dewan Leikai, Erendro said that the incident happened at around 11.30 am when he along with some of the party workers went to Thangmeiband Sinam Lei-kai during their visit to various polling stations of Thangmeiband AC. According to him, a group of people stopped his i10 car bearing number MN01 X4223 as soon as they reached Thangmeiband Sinam Leikai and began to vandalise the party’s flag adorning his car and even broke their whistles, which is the party’s symbol.

Erendro alleged that two individuals, Leishangthem Pratap and Konsam Mani-tomba dragged him out of the car and started beating him. They even tore his shirt and threatened him and asked if he wished to die. The accused not only thrashed his face but repeatedly punched his chest and even used the sticks used for PRJA flag to beat him on the neck and it caused him bleed. Erendro pointed out that the security personnel post-ed at the area could not do anything as the mob was too large for them to handle.

He said, ‘Prior to the election, our party had been barred from campaigning in Sinam Leikai.

Along with prohibiting PRJA posters and flags from the area, they even drove away PRJA workers/supporters who went to the locality for publicity campaign.

‘Pratap banned the party from opening a booth in the area and even forced us to pack our tables which we set up in different areas of Thangmeiband’, he alleged adding that the accused threw stones at PRJA’s rally in Thangmeiband.

Erendro said that the people damaged his vehicle using rocks and stones when the party workers whom he came with tried to pull him inside his vehicle and escape as they feared for his life. Erendro further pointed out that this was not the first time Pratap attacked him.

Pratap has been attacking every candidate that dares to enter Sinam Leikai. One only needs to look up past reports to confirm this’, he alleged.

The PRJA candidate said that today’s attack is not an attack on him but an attack on PRJA’s convenors and candidates and the people of the State who seek to uphold democratic principles.

‘It is an attack on the democratic principles of the youth who are aiming to usher in honest politics in the State and it as an attack on our policy’, he added.

Have faith in BJP: Nitin Gadkari

Congress party is exhorting of rooting out corruption in the state while on the other hand they are massive activities of corruption, said the Union Minister Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari while campaigning for BJP candidate of Wangkhem constituency Oinam Haridas Singh in a political conference held at Yairipok Public Khoirom ground.

Attending as chief guest, he said poverty cannot be eliminated as long as there is corruption and urged the people to have faith in the incorrupt BJP party and join hands for mutual progress and development. He further said that Congress and corruption cannot be separated and corruption is Congress and added that unemployment problems will thrive  as long as there is Congress rule.

The Minister said the government of India has sanctioned Rs 22, 000 crore for development of National Highways of Manipur along with other important road connectivity. However, due to economic blockade the construction could not be taken up as of now even though the package has been sanctioned. It may be mentioned that Wangkhem constituency goes to polls in the second phase on March 8.

Gaikhangam predicts absolute majority for Congress

Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | Mar 4
Former MPCC president and deputy chief minister Gaikhangam has predicted a comeback in the current assembly elections wide a margin. Speaking to IFP after the first phase of Manipur elections Gaikhangam said, out of the 38 constituencies going to polls in the first phase Congress expects about 28 seats and along with the second phase, Congress is expecting about 40 seats in the 60 member Manipur assembly.

Gaikhangam said, BJP win would not cross two digit although their leaders have expressed high expectations. He said that the expected Congress win is based on five factors. The first factor is development in all sectors across the state which had been made possible by the second factor of stability, he added.

There had never been stability in the state in the past, but in the last 15 years Congress has been bring stability in the state which has greatly helped in ushering an unprecedented development, he said. The third factor is BJP and NSCN (IM)’s opposition to the creation of seven new districts in Manipur, which was necessitated by administrative convenience and reach.

The fourth factor is non-disclosure of the framework agreement by the Narendra Modi led BJP government signed with the NSCN (IM) which has caused anxiety among the Manipur public. The last factor is the indefinite economic blockade by UNC which the Narendra Modi government implicitly supports, he added.

Nungba BJP condemns

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | Mar 4

The BJP Nungba Mandal has strongly condemned that the silly harassment made by the Manipur police commandos to the BJP vehicles’ driver at Khoupum Narnkaolong part -11 ordering forcefully to take off the National BJP flag fixed on the vehicles asking ‘Who command you to fixed BJP flag’, said a release signed by BJP Nungba Mandal president K Gailanjei.

Stating that using of election material at any proper places is guaranteed by the constitution of India as a democratic country during the election campaign, the release regretted that as a state security personnel without knowing why forcefully ordered to take off the flags which is use for election campaigning. The BJP Nungba Mandal will never be silence spectator if such cowardice act happens again in the future and also urged the concerned authorities to take appropriate action in the earliest, it added.

‘Votes polled exceeds total voters in Uripok 10/5’

IMPHAL | Mar 4

In a poll related violence, 10/5 polling station at Iroishemba Mang Hiden under Uripok assembly constituency of Imphal west district saw a brief skirmish between the voters and security personnel of NPP candidate, Yumnam Joykumar. A voter of the area, speaking to IFP alleged that Joykumar entered inside the polling station of Iroisemba Youth Development Club at around 4 pm.

The poll had ended according to the scheduled time of 3 pm and Joykumar took advantage of the isolated location of the station, he added.

‘When the voters demanded the reason of his entry inside the polling station even after the poll time got over, Joykumar threatened the people around with abusive language’, he alleged.

Meanwhile, this reporter saw a brief exchange of stone pelting between the locals and the supporters of Joykumar. Some vehicles belonging to the convoy of candidate Joykumar got damaged in the melee. N Suren, assistant returning officer of Uripok constituency, who was present at the spot of the incident, stated that some irregularities were found in the said polling station. ‘Out of the total 460 voters, 476 votes were found to be polled’, he said.

Suren pointed out that it could be a case of proxy voting. ‘The DEO will investigate into the matter’, he added. Latter in the evening, Y Joykumar in a hurriedly called press meet at his Naoremthong residence clarified that he was responding to a report by his agent of some suspicious activities inside the 10/5 polling station.

‘I was informed by my agent that the total votes polled had exceeded the total voters in the electoral list. I tried to explain to the locals that I had entered inside the station after the EVM was sealed, but the mob started pelting stones’, he said.

Manipur elections 2017: ‘Iron lady’ Irom Sharmila confident of victory

The Sangai Express / The Financial Express

New Delhi, March 04 2017: Irom Sharmila who cast her vote today at the Khurai constituency said that she is confident her party will win the elections. Irom Sharmila, Manipur’s icon launched her party People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance last year in October after breaking her 16 years’ long fast.

Sharmila, breaking her fast in October last year had said that she will continue her fight for the people of Manipur and she is only changing her strategy. Sharmila has been advocating against AFSPA, Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts which grants the Centre government special powers to the Indian Armed Forces. The government had implemented AFSPA in Manipur claiming that it is required to put a halt on the problems created by Militants in the state.

However, Irom Sharmila’s party claims that that AFSPA is not the ‘medicine for militancy’ and it is there to just ‘extract resources’ from Manipur. The locals in Manipur accuse Indian Army of misusing its powers in the name of protecting the interest of the locals. Being on fast for 16 years however, did not break Irom Sharmila, physically or mentally and this was evident when the woman rode for 20 km from Imphal on her bicycle to file her nomination papers.

The fight so far has not been easy on Sharmila, last month, she had claime that she was approached by the Bhartiya Janata Party to contest assembly elections against long time CM Okram Ibobi Singh on a party ticket, an offer she declined. She had also claimed that BJP had told her that it will cost her Rs 36 crore to fight against Singh. Manipur went for elections today and has recorded an 80% turnout.

The next phase of elections would be on 8th of March. Congress had long reigned in Manipur. It remains to be seen if Manipur’s support for Irom Sharmila will materialise in these elections.

BJP candidate M Hemanta alleges MLA Brojen of gross involvement in corruption

Imphal Times

Thoubal, March 04 2017: Vice president of BJp Manipur Pradesh, M Hemanta, who is also contesting as BJP candidate from Wangjing Tentha Assembly constituency has alleged MLA Paonam Brojen of the constituency as one of the most corrupted MLA, Talking to media persons Hemanta said that if BJP come to power Brojen will be sent to jail after proper investigation.

Paonam Brojen was elected as the representative of Wangjing-Tentha Assembly Constituency in the 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election as MSCP candidate but later merged to INC and is contesting as INC candidate this time.

The BJP Vice president alleged the MLA of collecting huge amount of money from various persons in the constituency in the name of providing them government jobs, however, the MLA did not only provide job but also still fails to repay back the money.

He further alleged that the MLA had included the construction of Papal Bazar Shed, Tentha and Mairenkhul da Waiting during 2010 to 2011 in his local area development fund.

Will marry Irom Sharmila after 2019 polls: Boyfriend

By Prasanta Mazumdar 
Indian Express
04th March 2017

GUWAHATI: Manipur’s iconic activist Irom Sharmila last month said she would get married after the elections. It seems her boyfriend Desmond Coutinho has now developed cold feet.

‘Whatever the result of the election, I will not be marrying Irom Sharmila until after the elections in 2019 (Lok Sabha). She has too much work to do in Manipur,’ Desmond said in a Facebook post on Saturday.

The British citizen with Goan roots has been with Sharmila for years. Desmond said Sharmila had to build up her political party People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) with widespread Manipuri representation from all communities living in the State. ‘We are no teenagers. Two more years is not long to wait,’ he said.
‘It is not about winning but allowing people the option to take responsibility for their own lives grow up in a democracy. She has forged good alliances with the LDF (Left Democratic Front) both in Manipur and in India. Various leaders from the diverse communities of Manipur have reached out to her. And there is two million rupees in the war chest. There will be work to be done in and for Manipur,’ posted Desmond.

Desmond also used unparliamentary language in the post and like in the past, drew ire in Manipur. On Saturday, his criticism was for Sharmila’s vocal supporter, Laba Yambem.

‘Friends hear from Desmond Coutinho stating that he will only be marrying Sharmila the MLA and not Sharmila the hunger-striking activist who he was able to lure with his charms,’ said Yambem.

‘Now I can dare say publicly that should anything untoward happen to Sharmila, the onus should lie on Desmond Coutinho alone,’ he said. Yambem said after hearing what Desmond said, if something were to happen to Sharmila then there was a provision in the Indian Penal Code called ‘guilty for abetment to suicide’.

Dr Nara flays blame games of political parties

The Sangai Express

Kakching, March 03 2017: The 130 days long economic blockade called by UNC has crippled the people’s lives of Manipur and instead of bringing an amicable solution, the Centre’s BJP Government and State’s Congress Government have failed the people of Manipur by blaming each other. This statement was made by CPI Manipur State Council secretary and Left and Democratic Front convenor Dr Moirangthem Nara at a flag hoisting ceremony of Kakching AC candidate (CPI) Naorem Achouba at Kakching Ningthou Leikai today.

Accusing both the parties, he stated that they have betrayed the people of Manipur adding that Left and Democratic Front (LDF) will rise to power, and not BJP or Congress. Nara stated that the promise made by the Prime Minister when he came to Manipur where he stated that BJP could accomplish everything in 15 months what Congress could not in 15 years would be useless and bear no result.

He questioned BJP why the details of the framework agreement have been kept secret and not a phrase or a sentence of it is revealed. He added that BJP does not deserve any votes. Meanwhile, taking pot shots at Congress, Dr Nara questioned why Congress decided to form new districts only when the election was round the corner while sleeping over the same matter for the past 15 years. CPI leaders and many LDF party leaders attended the ceremony.

Will Iron Sharmila’s fight against AFSPA turn tables?
The Sangai Express / ANI

Imphal, March 03 2017: With the stage set for the first phase of polling in the landlocked state of Manipur, all eyes will be on feisty Manipuri activist and political debutant Irom Sharmila. Sharmila has a long way to go in the poll ring, as she has a single point agenda of getting rid of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and three-time Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh of the Congress.

While the Congress is eyeing a consecutive fourth term in office, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is throwing a determined challenge to the grand old party. The BJP after wining in Assam is hopeful to form the government in Manipur. Moreover, the northeast state has a tradition of voting for the party ruling at the Centre.

29 crorepatis in 2nd phase polls: ADR
The Sangai Express / PTI

New Delhi, March 03 2017: As many as 29 crorepati candidates are in the fray for the second phase of Mani-pur assembly elections to be held on March 8, says a latest report.

Manipur Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 98 candidates from 13 political parties, including five national parties, four state parties, four unrecognised parties and nine independent candidates who are contesting in the second phase of Manipur assembly elections to be held on March 8, 2017.

According to the report, out of the 98 candidates analysed, 29 are crorepatis. Among party wise crorepati candidates, Delhi-based ADR said that 10 of 22 fielded by INC, 8 of 22 from BJP, one of seven from NPP, five of 11 from Naga Peoples Front, one of four from Manipur National Democratic Front and two Independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs one crore.

The average assets per candidate contesting is Rs 1.33 crore, it added. Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 22 INC candidates is Rs 3.11 crore, 22 BJP candidates (Rs 1.29 crore), 7 NPP candidates (Rs 38.02 lakh), 5 LJP candidates (Rs 37.58 lakh), 6 AITC candidates (Rs 6.97 lakh), 11 Naga Peoples Front (Rs 90.37 lakh), 2 CPI candidates (Rs 24.25 lakh) and 9 Independent candidates (Rs 1.40 crore), it added.

The top five richest candidates contesting in the second phase are Alfred Kanngam S Arthur of INC with total assets worth over Rs 36 crore followed by Independent R Haba Pao (Rs 8 crore), Mayanglambam Rameshwar Singh of BJP (Rs 6 crore), INC’s Jangamlung Panmei (Rs 5 crore) and Moirangthem Okendro also from INC (Rs 5 crore).

A total of 11 out of the 98 candidates have not declared their PAN details. Eleven candidates have declared total annual income of more than Rs 15 lakh. Kangujam Ranjit Singh of INC has total income of over Rs 34 lakh, while that of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has over Rs 25 lakh, the report by the think-tank said. Besides, out of the 98 candidates analysed, only one has declared criminal cases against himself. On the education details of candidates, the report said that 24 have declared their qualification to be between 5th pass and 12th pass, while 72 having a qualification of graduate and above.

One candidate has declared himself as just literate. A total of 46 candidates have declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years, while 52 between 51 and 80 years. In the second phase of Manipur assembly election this year, 4 women candidates are contesting, the report added.

Polling personnel reach stations, voting begins at 7 am
The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 03 2017: Polling personnel detailed for duty on the first phase of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assem-bly election have reached their respective polling stations.

Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Officer VK Dewangan has appealed to all the voters to exercise their right to adult franchise ethically without any sense of fear.

Adequate security measures have been taken up in and around all the 1643 polling stations where polling would be held from 7 am to 3 pm tomorrow.

For the first time in the electoral history of Manipur, 10 polling stations in Imphal West and six in Bishnupur would be exclusively man-ned by women officials.

Rajnath reaffirms to protect state boundary

Imphal Free Press
THOUBAL | March 2: Union home minister Rajnath Singh today reiterated to protect Manipur’s boundary. Under pressure from the ruling Congress and the state’s civil voluntary groups on the ‘Framework Agreement’, he alleged that the ruling party is playing politics on it for electoral gains.

Towing along the same line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajnath reaffirmed that the agreement signed between the government of India and the NSCN (IM) does not have any clauses that can hurt the state’s territorial integrity. He said there is no word on Manipur in the accord. He went on to blame the Congress government for the rise in unemployment problem. ‘Manipur has rich culture and skilled youths. Congress has been doing nothing in this regard, and it should take responsibility for its failure to create enough jobs for the youths,’ he said.

Rajnath came to Imphal from New Delhi this morning by a special jet plane. From the Imphal airport, he boarded a helicopter and flew to Churachandpur district to campaign for BJP candidate V Hangkhalian. He then went to Tamei in Tamenglong district where he addressed an election meeting for BJP candidate Z Kikhonbou Newmai. The home minister then flew to Yairipok in the chopper and addressed an election rally in Wangkhem constituency.

Addressing a rally at Yairipok Bishnu Naha, Rajnath assured that BJP will make Manipur a model state if the party is voted to power. Speaking at the meeting organised by BJP candidate Oinam Haridas Singh of Wangkhem constituency, he urged the people to defeat the ruling Congress. It may be mentioned that Wangkhem constituency goes to polls in the second phase on March 8. This is the second time Rajnath is visiting the state for election campaign.

Will initiate CBI probe into LDA: Ram Madhav

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | March 2

National Secretary of BJP Ram Madhav pointed out that the Loktak Development Authority needs to be investigated by the CBI. Addressing media at Keisampat party office, he said that the Prime Minister office had written to Ibobi and the chief secretary back in 2015, demanding an inquiry into LDA affairs.

‘It has been 2 years and the Congress government has still not responded to the inquiry demand. We will initiate a CBI probe into LDA, if we come to power. Those found guilty will be punished. I feel that the acronym of Ibobi as Mr 10 percent is an understatement, his corruption level is humongous.’

 Madhav added that the centre has been generous with providing funds for Manipur , the LDA phumdi (bio-mass) clearance project is 450 crore and already sanctioned by Planning Commission.

‘We can see that the phumdis are still there. It is tell-tale corruption, likewise many major projects are still uncompleted and the money is siphoned to the Congress  MLAs pockets’ he said that the Capitol project, JNIMS, ISBT, Thoubal Multipurpose Project can be mentioned and these project have yet to see the light of day.

Madhav said that both BJP and Congress have been engaged in an aggressive campaign battle for the past month. Nevertheless, the polls should be held without any intimidation or violence and appealed other political parties to uphold the spirit of democracy. He announced that Union Home minister, Rajnath Singh will be coming today afternoon to campaign at Churachandpur, Tamenglong and Tamei. The minister will also attend a public meeting at Thoubal to end the first phase of campaign today.

Taking a jab at a Congress advertisement asking BJP of ‘Who is the challenger from BJP?’ Madhav said that the Congress has 60 challengers. ‘Rather, the Congress leaders should be worried among themselves, the advertisement hints that Ibobi will instill himself as the next Chief Minister and none among his party has a chance, even if they come back to power. Ibobi Singh is propping his son from Khangabok constituency, the family raj politics from Delhi to Manipur continue,’ he said.

Ibobi demands disclosure of agreement, not assurances

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | March 2

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi hitting out against the Prime Minister and the BJP leaders, particularly on the ‘Framework Agreement’, demanded disclosure of the contents if they are honest with their promise of protecting state boundary. The Chief Minister was speaking at the flag hoisting ceremony of INC candidate of Sekmai assembly constituency today at Kanglatombi Mantri Lampak. The meeting was attended by a host of Congress leaders and people from different communities.

Continuing his tirades against the BJP, O Ibobi said it is the BJP party which has tried to disintegrate the territorial boundary of the state in an attempt to appease the NSCN (IM). ‘The NDA government under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the then Home minister, LK Advani initiated the talk between the union government and the NSCN (IM)’, he said.

O Ibobi said it was because of the words ‘without territorial limit’, included in the peace accord signed between the NDA government and the NSCN (IM) that triggered mass agitation in the valley and 18 precious lives were lost. He went on to question the intension of the central government which kept on sending RN Ravi, interlocutor of the ‘peace talk’, repeatedly to the state. ‘Are they trying to invite us in appeasing the NSCN (IM) by compromising the boundary of the state’, he asked.

He continued that promises made by the PM and host of BJP leader that the agreement has nothing to do with the state boundary has no takers. ‘It is evident from the protests which have been going on in the valley led by different civil voluntary organisations and student groups’, he said.   

Mere words will not do, just show us the agreement, the Chief Minister demanded.

Political parties neglect children welfare policy

By Leivon Jimmy
Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | March 2

It is a well known fact that children are the future pillars of a society or a nation. The future of a society solely depends upon how much and what care, support and intervention we give to our children today. But, in strife torn Manipur the universally accepted perception ‘future pillars’ is apparently of least importance. Manipur has a total population of 27,21,756  lakhs (per 2011 census) population. Of the total population around 9 lakhs are children below 18 years of age.

In all there are 18,26,962 voters (till 2016) including 8,93,957 male and 9,31,005 female voters. But, unfortunately, the over 9 lakhs children, which comprise of 40 percent of the total population apparently, are given least significance by any political parties in the fray for the upcoming election. Almost all the political parties including the major players in the upcoming election have failed to reflect policy for children in their election manifestoes.

Speaking to Imphal Free Press, Keisham Pradipkumar, member of Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR), expressed his disappointment over indifferent attitude of political parties with regards to the welfare of the children.

‘The election this time has totally neglected the welfare of the children. They have been rendered to mere passive spectator. What happens to the tall claims that children are the future pillars’, he questioned.

He observed that significance is only given to the voters despite the fact that 40 percent of the population is children. The MCPCR member revealed that there is lack of holistic child protection policy to ensure their rights and protection. Considering the circumstances, Manipur Alliance for Child Rights (MACR) submitted a charter of demands on children rights to all the political parties asking them to incorporate the demands in their election manifestoes’, for the ensuing state assembly election, he said.

Unfortunately, most of the parties completely neglected the core issues of children. In fact, some of the parties fail to make a mention a single sentence in their manifestos about children’s welfare, said Pradikumar. Pradipkumar further revealed that the similar memorandum on child rights was submitted during last election. Manipur faces with vexed issues. As per data compiled by MACR.,children are the most vulnerable lot, from 2008 to 2012 a total number of 379 children including young girls, human trafficking victims, were rescued from different states of India.

The report further said that Manipur records second highest number of trafficked victims after Mumbai. Of the total 179 girls rescued by Goa police from 2009 to 2011 Manipur was the second largest with 31 and Mumbai with 39. Frequent unrest in the state and mass use of children in agitations, is another concern. The reports further revealed that altogether 567 casualties most of them students including death of a students, were inflicted during protest /agitations in time of unrest like ILP and other protests. The casualties was due to use of lethal forces like rubber bullets, tears gars, custodial torture etc by police forces.

Pradipkumar observed that in order to reduce such casualties the state needs to come up with a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to deal with juvenile protestors. He said that the Manipur Human Rights Commission which has remained defunct since 2010, must be revived as child commission is inter dependent with Human Rights Commission. Manipur is one of the states where number of child sexual abuse cases are high.

A report based on the department of Home, Government of Manipur, till March 2016, the state has altogether 188 cases filed under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012. Of the total 188 cases, 108 cases were charge sheeted and only 30 persons were convicted. In fact, Manipur is the first state to register a case under POCSO in November, 2012 just few months after inception.

There are also many core issues like Right to Education Act, child labours, children living with HIV/AIDS etc are at the receiving end due to lack of concrete policy for children. But, the issues that needs immediate attention should be addressed timely by introducing a holistic policy, said Keisham Pradipkumar. Given the current circumstances ‘Children Budgeting’ could be a way out from issues confronting the children, he said.

Due to lack of standard children’s Budgeting, budget share for children’s education, health, protection and welfare has been insufficient, he continued.

‘It is not too late for the politicians to act. Even if they have failed to mentioned in their manifesto or vision documents they can incorporate the welfare policy of children in the plans after election’, suggested the MCPCR member.

Congress has failed to prove its commitment: Vikheho

Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL | March 2

Nagaland Roads and Bridges Minister, Vikheho Swu said the people in Manipur need a stable, people-sensitive and a visionary government, but the Congress government has failed to prove its commitment in spite of decades of its rule in Manipur and also in the entire country.

Vikheho said the people of Ukhrul district are the most enlightened people amongst the hill tribes of Manipur, a release maintained.

‘True to your commitment, you have elected 4 MLAs out of 20 seats for the hill people in 2012, and they took the historic decision to resign from their position as MLA to protest against the three ‘Anti- Tribal Bills’ passed by the Manipur sssembly which has prevented thus far the President of India’s assent to the Bills,’ he said while addressing an NPF election campaign at Ukhrul this afternoon, added the release.

He further alleged that the Congress government under O Ibobi has ‘alienated and segregated the hill tribes of Manipur and that of some Meiteis only for their benefit’, it said. The release continued, Vikheko stated that North-Eastern states would be the gateway between India and the ASEAN countries in the near future with the announcement of Act East Policy by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

‘Safeguarding our land, traditions, customs and practices of our forefathers is equally important as development of our land and people,’ he added.

 Vikheho said ‘with death in your houses, families segregated, your land been divided, your right to earn and live at stake, if you cannot stand together posterity will question you one day, there is no better time for change than now’, it said.  He appealed to the people to vote for the NPF party which stands for the aspiration of the hills people of Manipur.

‘Will bring development in CCpur’

Imphal Free Press

Union Home minister Rajnath Singh today campaigned for 6 BJP candidates contesting in the Churachandpur district. Speaking during the campaign, Rajnath said if BJP comes to power they will facilitate development in the district. All communities and their interest will be taken to account more importantly the dignified burial and due compensation to the 9 tribal martyrs and justice for their sacrifice and if needed the case will be handed over to the CBI, he said.

 He continued that talks with the UPF and KNO and the government has been going on smoothly. The Home Minister also said for the past fifteen years of Congress rule, there has been no development in sight, adding if the BJP come to power it will provide basic necessities including communication, transportation, health care and end culture of corruption in the state.

He charged that the Congress government has been playing divisive communal politics for the last 70 years of rule in the country. He also pointed that the ADB has selected Manipur as hub centre of promoting eco-tourism. With the kind of investment that will come from the said bank, BJP will transform the state into a model state in the Northeast, he added.

Beyond elections
Imphal Free Press editorial, 1 Mar 2017

Much of last year, editors of some newspapers published from Manipur, including Imphal Free Press, spent rushing to the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi, responding to summons to appear before it in a case related to the much talked about 1528 ‘fake’ encounter killings in Manipur over the years. Newspapers in the state, which obviously cannot afford to keep Supreme Court correspondents in New Delhi, understandably resorted to reproducing reports on the Supreme Court hearings in the case from national newspapers, as these reports were of extreme readership value in the state. One of these reports which the Manipur newspapers reproduced apparently misquoted the attorney general of India in his deposition before the court defending the government policy regarding these 1528 killings, and this was the misfortune of these newspapers causing them immense time, anxiety and money in the course of the months before the charges against them were finally disposed after a regret tendered by the editors. The absurdity of being hauled up for merely reproducing reports from some reputed national dailies is one thing, but the point we want to stress here, and a point extremely relevant in the wake of the extremely crass and aggressive election advertisement campaigns by two political parties, is that ultimately all these political parties calling each other traitors and tearing each other’s hairs and eyes out, belong together to the establishment. Indeed, in the case of the 1528 ‘fake’ encounter killings, the State government which is under the Congress, and the Central government which is under the BJP, were standing on one side coordinating and defending together against the challenge to what was a brutal government policy.

This is to say, regardless of their electoral enmity, all the political parties ultimately owe their allegiance to the establishment and the Constitution which defines it. All of the electoral rivals thus have to ultimately belong to the same team, the ability to not cross this fine line of rivalry amongst what essentially at another level are teammates, is what makes liberal democracy work, and beautiful indeed. Unfortunately, in the ugly buildup to the March Assembly election, we must say this fine line has been crossed so unthinkingly and blatantly by the players. From this vantage, the manner in which the BJP and Congress have been delivering below the belt punches and smearing each other with extremely demeaning charges, are misplaced and dangerously out of proportion. In washing dirty linen publicly the way they are doing now, they are not only hurting each other but the establishment they are supposed to be defending. They have done untold harm to the image of politics as such before the eye of the general public, as they have in equal measures damaged public esteem of the established order by their school boyish slanders in the media and by behaving like untutored juveniles unaware of the norms of propriety of civilized society even on live TV shows.

Amidst this cantankerous cacophony, there was sweet music too. This came from an unexpected quarter during an election campaign by the new Nagaland Chief Minister, Shurhozelie Liezietsu. The elderly statesman was campaigning for his party the Naga People’s Front, NPF, and he belied fears as well as expectations that he would like some of his predecessors, be spitting communal venom to cause further rifts between the Nagas in Manipur and other neighbouring communities. However, rather than make incendiary remarks aimed at inciting hate and suspicion, he spoke from the heart of a gentle soul, reminding his audience of the inevitability of unity rather than the need for division amongst the people in the entire region, in particular the Meiteis and hill tribes. The message is loud and clear. Nobody can change geography, therefore the people have no other choice than to either live in perpetual war and turmoil, or else look and find a way to peacefully co-exist. In his own words, the people of the valley and the hills have no choice than to be neighbours till as long as the earth exists. Such words of wisdom and maturity are what the region, and not necessarily only Manipur, needs at this moment. We do hope the goodwill and vision that introduced will spread across borders and prompt everybody to begin a new search for the elusive unity in diversity that so many politicians are so fond of talking about without meaning it from their hearts.

Where there is Congress, there is corruption: Amit Shah

Imphal Free Press | March 1

Continuing their war of words, the Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) national president, Amit Shah jibed the Congress that ‘Where ever there is Congress, there is corruption and no sign of development’.

The BJP president was addressing an election rally of BJP Singjamei candidate Y Khemchand, held today at Yumnam Leikai Lairembi Lampak, Singjamei, Imphal. Amit Shah said Manipur will continue to fall backwards and suffer if the ‘corrupted’ Congress remains in power as their (Congress) only focus is on deducting commission. Development and welfare in the state can only be brought about after uprooting Congress party from the Manipur entirely, he added.

During the 15 years rule of Congress it has been enjoying an uber lifestyle by plundering from public ex-chequer, said Shah before assuring that BJP will transform Manipur into a model state within 5 years if voted to power in Manipur. Despite the fact that Manipur has huge potential to develop sports and tourism, the Congress party has not taken up any steps to promote and explore any possibilities, instead they focus only on taking commission, he alleged.

The BJP president said, ‘Since the ongoing economic blockade is a state subject, the centre Government cannot directly intervene and stop the blockade. But, BJP will lift the ongoing economic blockade by any means within 24 hours after forming its government in the state.’

Income Tax raids Tarpon’s residence

Imphal Free Press | March 1

Income Tax department raided the house of one Luwangthem Tarpon at his Keishampat Thokchom Leikai today. The raid began from around 11 am today and continued till 10 pm. At least 6 vehicles assisted by Imphal West police personnel came to Tarpon’s residence. The team of income tax personnel came from outside the state and was joined by some personnel from state income tax department.

Tarpon is originally from Nepra company, Thoubal Athokpam and is said to have close ties with the Chief Minister. Sources from Tarpon’s residential area mentioned that the personnel who were mostly non-locals took away 3 cartons and a couple of sacks from inside his residence. The income tax department has been conducting raids in different areas of the state and mostly aimed at contractors, entrepreneurs, business companies, etc. It details of any seizures which are disproportionate to their income is not made available to the media yet.

KSA vandalises BJP office

Imphal Free Press | March 1

The Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA) today vandalised the head office of Bharatiya Janata Party located at Nityaipat Chuthek as a part of its agitation demanding justice if the fake encounter cases in the state. They first went to the Congress office and had a chat with some party officials there.

At the BJP office, security guards posted at the office gate told them there were no officials inside and refused to open the gate. The students got furious and broke the gate and entered the campus. After ransacking some office infrastructures such as window glasses, chair, flower pots etc, the students retreat ed. No one was arrested. Meanwhile the security personnel with arms remained silent and watched the students go on rampage inside the office.

Earlier the student’s association accompanied by women folks of Khwairamband Keithel tried to storm Congress head office at BT Road. But police arrived at the scene when the protester tried to force open the office gate. After a brief talk with the students, the police allowed a team of two students and one woman to enter the Congress office for meeting Congress officials.

Last respects for Abdul Salam

Imphal Free Press | March 1

Late Congress Rajya Sabha MP Haji Abdul Salam was honoured today by the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee led by Chief Minister O Ibobi at Congress Bhawan, Imphal.

Abdul Salam passed away yesterday at around 7.35 pm at Raj Medicity, Imphal. He was 69 and was survived by his wife, one son and five daughters. Salam who was also the former MLA of Wabagai Assembly constituency was suffering from cancer. He was elected MP Rajya Sabha in February 2014.

Sharmila gets LDF support

Imphal Free Press |March 1

Left and Democratic Front (LDF) today announced that it will support Irom Sharmila, who is contesting in Thoubal constituency against the chief minister O Ibobi. Convener of the LDF M Nara  announced the decision of the front during an election meeting organised for Sharmila at Kongpal Kongkham Leikai this morning.

The LDF is comprised of CPI, CPM, NCP, Manipur National Democratic Front, Peoples Democratic Alliance, Aam Aadmi Party and JD (U). The front is fielding 52 candidates including two Independent candidates. Thoubal constituency will go to the polls in the second phase on March 8.

Announcing the front decision Nara said there would not be peace, harmony and development if the corrupt Congress government and BJP continue to rule in the state.

‘So the coming election is the right time for the people to change the system of the state by voting out those corrupt political parties,’ added Nara.

State NCP releases manifesto

Imphal Free Press | Mar 1

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Manipur state has released its election manifesto for the Manipur legislative assembly election, 2017 with the contents mentioning about its brief deliberations as regards the Human Resource developments, forests, fisheries, industries, connectivity, civil aviations, insurgency, judiciary, state to state relation, centre state relations, governance and administrations, said a release signed by the vice-president of State NCP Y Ibomcha.

KRA appeals for peaceful voting


Reiterating its stance on ethical culture during election, the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) under the umbrella of Kuki National Organization (KNO) today categorically asked all organisations concerned to let voters exercise their franchise calmly without any pressure.

The outfit’s Information and Publicity secretary, T Simte said that with only two days left for voting in the Phase I of the ensuing election, voters should stay calm and bold enough to ethically exercise their franchise rights free and fairly voting in Kangpokpi district. The outfit further appealed all organisations concerned to avoid harassment, torture, psychological threat, kidnap and punishment of candidate, village chiefs and voters of the three assembly constituencies of Kangpokpi district.

‘Whosoever elected from the three ACs of Kangpokpi district will not represent the American or the Aliens but the people Kangpokpi district and they will work for the welfare of the people’, asserted Simte and added that it is unworthy and meaningless to be responsible in creating unrest environment of the voters rather it is important to ensure them for peaceful election.

BJP is the mother of lies: Gaikhangam

Imphal Free Press | March 1

Leaders of BJP has a habitual criminal in mind and the party is the mother of lies said the deputy chief minister, Gaikhangam during the flag hoisting ceremony of K Meghachandra, Wangkhem constituency today at Wangkhem ground.

Speaking on the occasion, Gaikhangam said that when Prime minister’s visit to the state he said if BJP comes to power in the state then the party can fulfil the needs of the people in 15 months which congress government led by O Ibobi cannot do it in last 15 years. He further claimed that it is impossible to fulfil the needs of a state in 15 months, his words are lies to the people of Manipur.

BJP has been ruling at the centre for last 3 years but we cannot see any development in the state. This proofs that BJP gives false hope to the people. Seeking the attention of the function he also said that the content of the framework agreement is still unknown to any of the people for the last 2 years. But still Modi claimed in the framework agreement not a word of Manipur is included.

Like Manipur was in fire during the cease fire agreement at the time of BJP government in the state, the people have a fear with the content of framework agreement until it is not publish in white paper or in a photostate copy, he added. The ceremony was attended by Chief Minister, O Ibobi, Deputy Chief Minister, Gaikhangam Gangmei, MLA, Kakching constituency, Yengkhom Surchandra  and members of the party as invitees.

On the other hand O Ibobi said that BJP is taking the former Congress MLAs in to their party by giving false hope. BJP has a lot of hidden agenda in which PM says indefinite economic blockade imposed by UNC can be withdraw in 2 days by keeping presidential rule in the state.

This proofs that central government is interrelated with NSCN (IM). CM further said that BJP is a party who do not consider for religion, caste or creed but Congress gives only one ticket to the minority in Lilong constituency. Whereas congress gives equal vision to all the people for the betterment of the people, he added.

NEIDP appeals for end to blockade

Imphal Free Press| March 1

North East India Development Party candidate in Wangkhem constituency, Yumnam Nabakishore appealed both BJP government on Centre and Congress government in State to stop taking political mileage over UNC economic blockade which has crossed 120 days and perform the real sense of public work.

Speaking to media persons at the sidelines of his flag hoisting ceremony today, the United Committee Manipur ex-president he expressed that the need of being a legislature in performing his part of role for the development of his constituency and the Manipuri society at large has compelled him to join NEIDP.

He said his motive for joining politics is to strengthen the faded present political system of Manipur which has created a sea of gap within public and the government. Campaigning for the party candidate, NEIDP president Narengbam Samarjit has blamed BJP for being Hindu fanatic to govern a State like Manipur whose diversity in culture and religion make her known to be mini India.

He further accused Congress Party for creating social strata according to caste, creed; rich and poor among human beings. Abolition of the present unclean political culture which is the root cause of Manipur being deprived in all sectors of development is first and foremost responsible for NEIDP, he assured and appealed people that for the task NEIDP need people support.

He said, the current political culture which has its headquarter at Delhi has divided hill and valley people and blamed that the dirty political culture has destroyed all form of social belongings including years old culture, tradition and other social values associated with Manipuri society. Uprooting such political culture and restructuring the degraded social values, cultures, traditions through a new political system within 20 years is the promise of NEIDP to the people of Manipur, assured Samarjit.

Congress fulfilled 2012 manifesto promises: Joykishan
Imphal Free Press | March 1

Congress claimed that the party had done more than 80 percent of what it was there in the election manifesto as opposed to the BJP’s allegations that the former had done nothing mentioned in the election manifesto of 2012.

Reacting to the BJP’s questions that have circulated in the vernacular papers in connection with the visit of INC vice president Rahul Gandhi, Manipur State Congress Committee spokesperson Khumukcham Joykisan said BJP must stop throwing stones to the Congress, and they can never make a government with baseless propaganda that has been circulating in all kinds of media.

In a press meet held at Congress Bhawan, he added that all the bandhs and blockades which disturbed the normalcy of the state are instigated by the BJP which are proven with the recent statement made by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar that they will lift the blockade within 3 days if CM Ibobi resigns. Retaliating to the allegations surrounding around job recruitment process, he clarified that all the allegations of corruption during may be true for those who shifted camp into BJP from Congress, but not for those who have been with the Congress by respecting the ideology of the party.

PHED Minister, I Hemochandra said that BJP must learn to appreciate what others had done instead of seeking fault at everything, and not to brain wash people with the baseless propagandas. Stating that he will resign if BJP can finish Railways project within 15 months, MLA Kakching, Y Surchandra said that Manipur may not be mentioned in framework agreement but they should have given a clear statement that political boundeires of Manipur will not be encroached upon on any cost.

Manipur tightens its election expenditure this year
Imphal Free Press | March 1

If there is a widespread perception of big money spending during elections in many parts of the country, including the Northeast, Manipur stands out as an exception. The reason is not demonetisation.

The streets in Imphal Valley, which is one-tenth of Manipur, do not tell the story of a State going to elections in three days time. When one expects frenetic activities before campaigning comes to a close, the streets here are quiet. Supporters moving around in convoys of vehicles shouting slogans and posters and banners of candidates and political parties hung around thoroughfares are a rarity here.

From the time the model code of conduct came into force, only around Rs 2 crore has been seized. The locals claim money does exchange hands on the sly but the volume of it is negligible compared to other States. Unlike Arunachal and Nagaland where a candidate is required to spend in crores to win any elections, the candidates in Manipur can afford to go by the Election Commission’s rule to spend less than    Rs 20 lakh. According to locals in Arunachal, a candidate is required to spend anything between Rs10 crore and Rs 30 crore to win an election.

With just seven days left for the last of two-phase Manipur polls on March 8, the candidates are still going about hoisting flags. The flags are hoisted before launching campaign. It is considered auspicious and believed to bring good luck. The parties in consultation with astrologers and priests decide when the flags are to be hoisted.

‘We do not need to spend much to win elections. People’s sympathy and trust are with us,’ Manipur unit Congress president T N Haokip told Express.

The locals claim that ‘limited cash’ is doled out to woo voters.

‘It will be wrong to say that money does not play a part in elections in Manipur. It does. However, when you compare it with the trends in rest of India, it is perhaps, negligible. The candidates help voters mostly by providing them items to arrange a marriage, hold a festival or perform rituals after a person’s death,’ said S Sanayaima, a local.

The Election Commission attributed the trend to its strict and effective monitoring of poll expenses besides tradition.

‘We are strictly following the Election Commission guidelines. As such, we have not allowed any posters, flags, banners etc to be hung on public property. We allowed them to be hung on private property and that too when the owners give their consent in writing. Secondly, convoys of supporters, exceeding five vehicles, come to the glare of expenditure observers,’ Manipur’s chief electoral officer (CEO), Vivek Kumar Dewangan, told Express.

‘Another reason is that the candidates got prolonged two months’ time to attract voters. There are only around 25,000 to 35,000 voters in a constituency. So, a candidate usually targets a maximum of 15,000 voters. The candidates rely on house to house campaigns. They have to touch only around 200 voters a day,’ he said.

Manipur also does not have the tradition of big public meetings except when they are addressed by star campaigners.

Congress replies to BJP questions
Imphal Free Press | March 1

Congress claimed that the party had fulfilled more than 80 percent of the promises made in its election manifesto, reacting to allegations made by its arch rival BJP, which alleged that the Congress had failed to fulfil its promises listed in the 2012 election manifesto.

Reacting to the BJP questions published in the form advertisements in connection with the visit by Indian National Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Congress spokesperson Khumukcham Joykisan said BJP must stop throwing stones to the Congress, and they can never form a government with its baseless propaganda that has been circulating in all kinds of media.

Interacting with the media persons at Congress Bhawan, he added that all the bandhs and blockades which disturbed the normalcy of the state are instigated by the BJP, which are proven by the recent statement made by Union Minister Prakash Javedkar that they will lift the blockade within 3 days if CM Ibobi resigned.

Retaliating to the allegations surrounding around recruitment process, he added that all the allegations of corruption during recruitment process may be true for those who jump into BJP from Congress but not others who have been sticking to Congress by respecting the ideology of the party.

Most of the incomplete projects were handled by the Congress leaders that joined BJP as they themselves turn into contractors for the projects, he charged.

PHED minister, I Hemochandra said that BJP must learn to appreciate what others had done instead of seeking fault at everything and not to brainwash people, with baseless propaganda.

Stating that he will resign if BJP can finish railways project within 15 months, MLA Kakching, Y. Surchandra said that Manipur may not be mentioned in framework agreement but they should have given a clear statement that the state of Manipur will not be ‘encroached upon’ at any cost.

The BJP propaganda created a division between the hill and valley and also helps in widening the existing gap. Such propaganda must stop, he added.

Manipur Election 2017: New Districts, Blockade Key Factors For Voters
by Ratnadip Choudhury/NDTV

February 28, 2017, Imphal Free Press:  Manipur’s 100-day roadblock and its trigger -- the creation of seven new districts - are expected to be the key deciding factors when the state goes to polls on March 4. The two issues have polarised voters as never before, setting plains against hills and tribe against tribe. And it might help the ruling Congress, say locals.

Last December, Congress Chief Minister Ibobi  bifurcated seven of the state’s nine districts - mostly hills where the Nagas are a majority. On November 1, the top group of Manipur’s Naga tribes, the United Naga Council, blocked the supply lines of the state, accusing the Congress government of an attempt to compromise their territorial and cultural integrity.

The bifurcation, however, made another hill tribe happy - the Kukis, who wanted it as part of their demand for better governance. They also admit that it will help the ruling Congress.

‘The Congress will get the benefit from the creation of the seven districts,’ said Lamcha Chongloi, General Secretary, Kuki Students Organisation (Sadar Hills). The Kukis, he said, wanted to change how the state functions by forming another political party. But the prolonged economic blockade has forced tribals to think twice about the BJP. ‘They (the BJP) have links with the United Naga Council and the NPF, so we think most people will vote for Congress,’ he added. 

Traditionally the tribals vote for political parties seen close to Centre. Now the Congress - which has called the bifurcation an administrative decision - is hoping that it would be a game changer.

‘We made seven new districts for administrative ease but the BJP-backed UNC is creating problems by its blockade and so we urged Centre to ban the UNC,’ state Congress spokesperson Joy Kishan  told NDTV. The Centre is yet to ban the UNC as the Chief Minister demanded. The Nagas - who are a majority across 20 of Manipur’s 60 assembly seats -- say they have seen through the Congress strategy.

‘At stake is the agenda of the Congress to sabotage and put roadblocks in the Naga movement and we are not surprised by it,’ said Seth Satsang, the President of All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur.

‘They (the Congress) want to derive political mileage out of this decision. They want the people to suffer so they can say the Nagas are disturbing in development of the state,’ the chief of state BJP unit Kh. Bhvananda.

Manipur elections: Rahul Gandhi asks Modi to make contents of Naga Accord public
Hindustan Times/PTI

February 28, 2017: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday demanded that the contents of the Naga Accord, signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, should be made public and accused the PM of ‘spreading hate and lies’ wherever he went.

‘The Centre has signed the Naga Peace Accord, but nobody knows about its contents. Even Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi  and the state government are not aware of it. Why are the people of Manipur being kept in the dark about the contents of the agreement?’ he asked while addressing an election rally here.

‘Wherever Narendra Modi goes, he spreads lies, hatred and enmity among brothers. He makes false promises. He had levelled baseless allegations of corruption against the Ibobi  government. He always makes false claims,’ Rahul said.

Manipur election: Bomb recovered in Imphal ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s poll rally
Echoing him, Ibobi  too demanded that the contents of the accord be made public and uploaded on the Internet.

‘They (the Centre) should put it up on the website, so that the people can have a look at it and decide whether it will compromise the territorial integrity of the state (Manipur) or not,’ he told the meeting.

The Naga Peace Accord, termed as a ‘Framework Agreement’, was signed between the NSCN-IM and the Centre in August, 2015 after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years. The first breakthrough came in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was signed with the banned outfit. The contents of the Naga Peace Accord have been a major issue in the run-up to the coming Manipur Assembly polls with the Congress accusing the BJP of compromising the territorial integrity of the state and the latter denying the allegation.

Prime Minister Modi, during his poll campaign in Imphal on February 25, had accused the Congress government in Manipur of ‘spreading a false propaganda’ on the Naga Accord and said there was nothing in it that was detrimental to the interests of the state. He had also launched a scathing attack on Ibobi , accusing him of running the ‘most corrupt government’.

Rahul said only a Congress government can lead Manipur towards the path of development and prosperity. Referring to the Centre’s decision to scrap high-value currency notes, he said, ‘Demonetisation has had an adverse impact on the livelihood of the poor of this country. Farmers, daily wage labourers were the ones most affected due to it.’

UNC to oppose Congress in Manipur polls
Times of India/PTI 
Feb 28, 2017

Imphal Free Press: The United Naga Council (UNC), which has been continuing a blockade in two national highways in Manipur since November 1, has said it would oppose Congress in the assembly election to be held on March 4 and 8. The UNC would oppose Chief Minister O Ibobi  and his party, Congress, in the polls and support Naga Peoples’ Front (UNF) in the coming election, the Naga body said in a statement Monday evening.

The UNC also asked all Nagas in the state to support candidates of NPF which has four members in the outgoing assembly. The UNC has imposed a blockade on NH2 and NH 37 - two lifelines of the state - since November 1 last year to protest against the state government’s decision to create 7 new districts which, the UNC said, would bifurcate ancestral lands of Nagas in Manipur.

UNC also criticised the Ibobi  government for arrest of its president Gaidon Kamei who was taken into custody on November 25 in connection with the blockade.

Cong will safeguard integrity of Manipur: Rahul
The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 28 2017: All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice president Rahul Gandhi has categorically stated that Congress party will always safeguard the integrity of Manipur and her territorial integrity. He was speaking at an election rally held at Hapta Kangjeibung today in connection with the ensuing 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election.

He asserted that Congress would never compromise on the integrity of Manipur and her territorial boundary under any circumstances. After a Framework Agreement was signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM on August 3, 2015 without informing anyone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed AICC president Sonia Gandhi on telephone that a historic agreement had been signed. As advised by the party president, Chief Minister O Ibobi was enquired about the agreement but it turned out that he had no idea.

Many Union Ministers of the Modi Government were also enquired about the agreement but they too were ignorant about the historic agreement. The way how the Framework Agreement was signed in total secrecy was rather surprising, Rahul Gandhi remarked. Talking about demonetisation, the AICC vice-president stated that the same move landed a large number of peasants, workers and the underprivileged sections in extreme misery.

The Modi Government could not do anything to rich and powerful people who have been accumulating black money in Swiss Bank, real estate and gold businesses. Narendra Modi could not even set his eyes on those rich people, he said. Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was shouting that the black money collected through demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes would be deposited in bank accounts of poor people and several employment generation schemes would be initiated, the Prime Minister could not translate his assurance into action.

Enough evidence and documents were seized about giving crores of rupees to Narendra Modi when Income Tax teams raided private companies in 2014, alleged Rahul Gandhi. Accusing Ibobi Government of indulging in rampant corruption without giving any evidence while concealing all the evidence about transfer of crores of rupees to Narendra Modi is rather ridiculous, Rahul Gandhi remarked.

Moreover, Narendra Modi was unable to develop Imphal-Jiribam highway into a proper National highway even though the same work was included in the list of works he promised to accomplish within 100 days of assuming the Prime Minister’s office. In the same manner, the Prime Minister is still unable to set up a National Sports University in Manipur even though the Chief Minister has allotted necessary land at two places. Given all these realities, people of Manipur need not trust Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders, he asserted.

BJP which works according to decisions adopted by RSS at Nagpur has been continuously sowing seeds of distrust and animosity among different communities of the country. In Manipur too, BJP has been scheming to obliterate and destroy the history, language and identity of Manipuri people but Congress would never allow BJP’s nefarious design to succeed, Rahul Gandhi promised.

He then called upon the people of Manipur to ask Narendra Modi if he has done anything for Manipur in case he ever visits Imphal again. The Prime Minister should also be asked why the Framework Agreement was signed without consulting the Chief Minister and the people of Manipur, he continued.

Congress party would definitely retain power and the Congress Government would fulfil the promises it made to the people of Manipur, Rahul Gandhi asserted.

Chief Minister O Ibobi, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, AICC general secretary Dr CP Joshi, MPCC president TN Haokip, MPs Dr T Meinya, Thangso Baite, Ministers, MLAs and many Congress candidates were also present at the election rally. Chief Minister O Ibobi asked Central Government and BJP leaders to upload the contents of the Framework Agreement on the internet if they are honest enough.

‘Even though both the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister say that the Framework Agreement would not affect Manipur, we would like to question the reason behind keeping the Framework Agreement totally inaccessible’, Ibobi asserted.

It was during Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s period that Manipur was literally put on flames in 2001 and 18 people lost their lives because the words ‘without territorial limit’ were inserted in the cease fire agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM.

Now, the Framework Agreement has created a restive situation in Manipur. As such, people need to be wary of BJP, Ibobi cautioned. Reacting to the Prime Minister’s declaration that they would get the blockade lifted if BJP comes to power, Ibobi asked whether the ongoing economic blockade is a collaborative effort of NSCN-IM, UNC and BJP. He also mentioned about several development programmes implemented in Manipur during UPA-I and UPA-II Governments.

Urging the Central Government to demonstrate project(s) it sanctioned for Manipur during the past two years and a half, Ibobi appealed to the Prime Minister to replace his ‘Maan Ki Baat’ programme with ‘Maan Ki Kaam’. It is a misplaced notion if BJP is thinking about winning the Manipur election by deceiving the masses like they did in the 2014 Lok Sabha election held across the country, he added.

Corrupt Cong leaders will be nailed: Amit Shah

The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 28 2017: All corruption cases involving leaders of the incumbent Congress Government would be duly investigated and all those found guilty would be imprisoned in case BJP comes to power in the State, asserted BJP National president Amit Shah.

Speaking at an election rally held at Kangpokpi Thomas ground today, Amit Shah remarked that Manipur remains quite backward even though it has been 70 years since India achieved independence. He accused the Congress Government of indulging in rampant corruption and graft practices during recruitment drives. The State’s law and order situation remains volatile because larger portions of the funds sanctioned by the Centre have been swindled. Transport infrastructure are pathetic and unemployment is a big issue in Manipur, Amit Shah stated.

He went on to ask Chief Minister O Ibobi where has he put 51 lakh tonnes of rice given by the Centre to the State Government for distribution to the poor people of Manipur. The State Government has been unable to submit utilisation certificates sanctioned for development of health, education, potable water supply sectors.

‘I’m here in Manipur leaving behind the crucial Uttar Pradesh elections which is one of the biggest States of the country because I’m committed to bring uniform development across the country even though Manipur is a small State’, Amit Shah asserted. Pledging that BJP would develop Manipur as a model State, he appealed to the people of Manipur to give an opportunity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi so that he can implement his own plan of development in Manipur successfully.

If BJP forms the next State Government, it would be corruption free, he assured. North East Democratic Alliance convenor and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma remarked that O Ibobi has been heading a ‘10 per cent Government’. The Congress Government took Rs five lakh for recruitment of each police personnel, he charged.

Even though new districts have been created, there are no roads and people have no access to potable water, he said. Speaking at another election rally held at Chengei ground within Moirang AC today, the BJP National president claimed that they would persuade all concerned to lift the indefinite economic blockade being imposed on the two National Highways which connect Manipur with the rest of the country within 24 hours in case BJP is elected to power.

It was at Moirang where the Indian National Army (INA) led by Netaji Subhashchandra Bose first hoisted the Indian National Flag. As such, Manipur occupies a very important position in the history of India’s freedom struggle, he said. But the Congress Government led by O Ibobi has converted Manipur into a troubled State bounded by bandhs and blockades.

The Ibobi Government is the most corrupt Government in the whole country. Rather than sharing any thought for the ever increasing population of unemployed youth, Ibobi and his Ministers have been politicising the economic blockade, Amit Shah continued. Exuding confidence that BJP would score a landslide victory in the ensuing election and form the next Government in Manipur, Amit Shah stated that the NDA Government has been paying special attention to the country’s eastern region particularly the North East because it is relatively backward as compared to the country’s western region.

Noting that Manipur has huge potential in tourism sector, the BJP National president rued that the Ibobi Government did nothing for development tourism industry in the State. Once BJP comes to power in the State, Manipur will be put on the map of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

Manipur can achieve remarkable economic development through promotion of extensive organic farming but Ibobi has no time for organic farming even though he has enough time for ‘fake encounters’.

As already assured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi a few days back, the ongoing Naga accord would not affect the territory of Manipur even by a single inch, Amit Shah asserted. In order to generate employment, an IT hub would be established in the State, he assured. Amit Shah then appealed to the people of Manipur to elect BJP to power and help BJP bring revolutionary changes in the State.

BJP State election management committee convenor Th Chaoba claimed that BJP would win at least 40 seats including six seats out of six in Bishnupur district and go on to form the next Government. BJP Manipur Pradesh president K Bhabananda and the six BJP candidates contesting in different Assembly segments of Bishnupur district also took part in the election rally.

Henry clarifies on qualification row

The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 28 2017: INC candidate from Wangkhei AC Okram Henry has today clarified that he had stated his qualification as class XII in his affidavit for the ensuing State Assembly election as he could not complete his BA.

Speaking to mediapersons at his Mantripukhri residence, Henry said, ‘Some have alleged that during the filing of nomination paper in 2012 election, I had stated my qualification as BA and class XII in my affidavit for the ensuing State election. It is my earnest appeal to those individual to stop spreading false propaganda against me’.

Unprecedented crowd at Rahul Gandhi’s election rally

 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 28 2017: An unprecedented crowd gathered at Hapta Kangjeibung, Imphal East district to witness an election rally addressed by Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of All India Congress Committee (AICC) today. Since early morning, a large number of Indian National Congress (INC) supporters converged and half space of the venue was already occupied hours before the AICC vice-president landed at Imphal Tulihal Airport.

All the roads leading to the venue were jammed due to the heavy movement of vehicles which were seen transporting INC supporters from every nook and corner of the State.

Biswajit accuses CM of fooling people
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 28 2017: Launching a blistering attack on Chief Minister O Ibobi for invalidating the assurance made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the State that the territorial boundary of the State will not be compromised at any cost, BJP MLA Biswajit accused the CM of fooling and misleading the people by making false claims.

Biswajit who is also the general secretary of BJP Manipur Pradesh was speaking at the flag hoisting ceremony of RK Shivachandra, BJP candidate in Keishamthong Assembly Constituency held at the candidate’s residence today. He asserted that BJP Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been taking up various development programmes and maintaining transparent governance.

He claimed that there has been considerable changes in many of the States after BJP came to power at the Centre. In Assam and Haryana where there is BJP Government, offer form of Government jobs is given just a day after results of the jobs recruitment were declared. Whereas in the State of Manipur, one has to pay lakhs of rupees to get a Government job, he said.

Quoting the assurance made by the PM that there will be no interview in recruitment of Grade III and IV posts if BJP forms the next Government, Biswajit assured that there would not be corruption in recruitment of Government employees in the State if the party is voted to power in the coming election.

Contending that the rate of corruption in the State is very high which is due to the Congress rule, he said that pitiable state of roads and biased PDS distribution in Keishamthong are clear indications that the constituency is being ill-treated by the Government. He alleged that the uncountable imposition of bandh and blockade during the 15 years long Congress rule in the State is another indication of poor governance.

Recalling the affirmation made by National president of BJP, Amit Shah during a meeting of National Executive Council of the party that there would be no bandh and blockade in the State if BJP forms the next Government, the MLA appealed to the people to elect BJP candidates in the election by keeping full faith in the party. RK Shivachandra lamented that there has been no notable changes in Keishamthong A/C in the last 10-15 years.

He fervently appealed to the electorate to give him a chance to serve the constituency by electing him in the election. He assured that he would make Keishamthong a model constituency if he is elected in the election. National general secretary of BJP, Ram Madhav; HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and spokesperson of BJP State unit, N Biren also attended the flag hoisting ceremony.

Students protest Rahul Gandhi’s visit
The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 28 2017: Demanding announcement of the details of the Framework Agreement signed between NSCN (IM) and Government of India, students of Regular English School under the aegis of All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) protested the visit of All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president Rahul Gandhi to the State today.

The protest demonstration was staged at Tiddim ground along the Airport road. However, the visit of the Congress leader was not affected. Security personnel were deployed at the protest site to prevent the student protesters from causing disturbance to the visit. The students formed a human chain and held placards inscribed with slogans against the non-disclosure of the contents of the Framework Agreement.

After Modi, Amit Shah in town: Studying the poll promises
The Sangai Express 1 Mar 2017 Editorial

National BJP president Amit Shah is in town. He has already addressed two election meetings at Moirang and Kangpokpi and is set to address two more such meetings at Ukhrul and Singjamei on March 1.  National vice president Rahul Gandhi was also in town and addressed an election meeting at Hapta Kangjeibung, right in the heart of Imphal city on February 28.

The Sangai Express will come back on the visit and the address of Rahul at a latter commentary and will for now focus on the agenda which has been laid down by the BJP as well as briefly touch on the visit of Amit Shah. Two top leaders of the BJP, in the persons of Amit Shah and earlier Prime Minister Narendra Modi, visiting Manipur and clearly this should testify how seriously the BJP is taking the election and this is what has made the run up to the election all that more interesting.

Something very different from what the State witnessed back in 2012 when the Congress virtually had no other political party to contend with. With the BJP sweeping the Lok Sabha election in 2014 the political climate has certainly changed and after conquering Assam is now intent on repeating the same in Manipur too. The case of Arunachal Pradesh is different. How things will unwind will be known only after the votes are counted but it is significant to note that the BJP has taken pains to spell out what it intends to do if voted to power.

Apart from taking pot shots at the Congress and going hammer and tongs against its failure in the last 15 years of being in power, the BJP has also come out with a brief vision for Manipur. From assuring piped drinking water to every household, something which the Congress has miserably failed to address to in the last 15 years, the BJP has also assured to investigate all fake encounter and corruption cases and accordingly punish the guilty.

Apart from this, it has also promised to establish a Highway Protection Force to ensure a blockade free Manipur. This can go down well with the people, for this is something which the Congress Government has been talking about but failing to implement on the ground. Poll promises are promises basically to lure the voters and herein lies the question of whether the BJP sincerely believes that it can implement all the promises it has made in its Vision for Manipur. This is something which the people have to decide in the coming days.

Surprisingly there has not been much of a debate on the feasibility of the assurances given by the BJP and it would be in the fitness of things for the Congress to pick up one of the ten assurances laid down by the BJP and engage it to a debate. Promises galore and here is hoping that the promises do not end up as hot air.

54 of 167 candidates in Manipur elections are crorepatis
The Sangai Express / PTI

New Delhi, February 27 2017: A total of 54 crorepati candidates are in the fray for the first phase of Manipur Assembly elections to be held on March 4, while eight have declared criminal cases against them, according to a recent report.

Manipur Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 167 candidates from 17 political parties, including six National parties, five State parties, six unrecognised parties and 14 independent candidates who are contesting in the first phase of the Manipur Assembly elections. Out of the 167 candidates, 54 are crorepatis, it said.

Among party-wise crorepati candidates, 21 out of 37 from Indian National Congress (INC), 21 of 38 from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), five of 12 from National Peoples Party, two of eight from North East India Development Party and two of six from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore, Delhi-based ADR said in a report released on Monday.

The average assets per candidate contesting in the first phase of Manipur polls is Rs 1.04 crore. Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 37 INC candidates is Rs 1.73 crore, 38 BJP candidates (Rs 1.49 crore), 12 National Peoples Party candidates (Rs 1.06 crore), 10 All India Trinamool Congress candidates (Rs 32.74 lakh), six NCP candidates (Rs 58.74 lakh) and 14 Independent candidates (Rs 26.36 lakh).

The three richest candidates contesting in the first phase of Manipur Assembly Elections are Sehpu Haokip of Naga People’s Front with total assets of over Rs 13 crore, followed by Konthoujam Krishnakumar of BJP (over Rs 9 crore) and Kshetrimayum Biren  of INC (over Rs 8 crore), the report by the think-tank said.

A total of nine candidates have not declared their PAN details.

The top three candidates with the highest income are Kshetrimayum Biren  of INC with total income of over Rs 2 crore followed by Khundrakpam Bhabeshwar of LJP (over Rs 28 lakh) and Konthoujam Govindas also from INC (over Rs 27 lakh), it said.

The report further said that out of 167 candidates analysed, eight have declared criminal cases against themselves.

There are three candidates who have declared serious criminal cases, including cases related to attempt to murder, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property etc.

Among party-wise candidates with criminal cases, four of 38 candidates from BJP, two of 37 candidates from INC, one of 10 candidates from Manipur National Democratic Front and one of six candidates from NCP have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, it added.

On the education details of candidates, the report said, 38 have declared their qualification to be between 5th and 12th, while 124 have declared having a qualification of graduate or above and one candidate is illiterate.

A total of 72 candidates have declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years, while 95 between 51 and 80 years.

In the first phase of Manipur Assembly election this year, only seven female candidates are contesting.

CSOs appeal candidates to pledge
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27 2017: The United Committee Manipur (UCM) and the Committee of Civil Societies Kangleipak (CCSK) have appealed to all the candidates of the ensuing State Assembly election to come forward and pledge to face all challenges to the integrity of Manipur collectively.

Speaking to media persons at their Lamphelpat office today, UCM secretary general YK Dhiren maintained that people have a nagging fear that the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM may have serious impacts on the territorial integrity of Manipur.

It was this lurking fear which prompted UCM, CCSK and other like minded organisations to launch the campaign ‘Pledge to the People of Manipur’.

Since the campaign was launched, many candidate regardless of their party affiliations have pledged to take pro-active roles in safeguarding the territorial integrity of Manipur.

So far 26 BJP candidates, 14 Congress candidates, 10 NEIDP candidates, eight AITC candidates, six CPI candidates, five MPP candidates, four NCP candidates, three PRJA candidates, three NPP candidates, two AIFB candidates, two CPI(M) candidates, two LJP candidates and three MNDF candidates have signed the pledge. CCSK secretary general Jitendra Ningomba remarked that no one is sure how credible is the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance that the Framework Agreement does not contain anything which may affect the integrity of Manipur.

At the same time, there is a nagging suspicion that the political boundary and physical boundary of Manipur may be affected, Jitendra said. He then urged the Government of India to bring out a white on the Framework Agreement at the earliest. He also appealed to all the candidates who have not yet signed on the ‘Pledge to the people of Manipur’ to append their signatures before the election.

Flag hoisting ceremony of Rame held at Kakching Welfare schemes not delivered: Patel

The Sangai Express

Kakching, February 27 2017: The Congress Government in the State has failed to implement various welfare schemes taken up by BJP Government at the Centre under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for farmers, senior citizens, educated unemployed youth and needy people of the State.

This was alleged by Lok Sabha MP Prahlad  Patel who is also the BJP NE In-Charge while addressing the flag hoisting ceremony of Mayanglambam Rameshwor (Rame), BJP candidate in 37-Kakching Assembly constituency held at the candidate’s residence at Kakching Makha Lou, Irum Ningthou Pareng today.

The flag hoisting ceremony cum public meeting was organised by BJP Kakching Mandal.

Addressing the gathering as chief guest, Prahlad  Patel maintained that BJP is firmly committed to developing all the Northeast States which is evident from the various development programmes taken up by the party since it came to power at the Centre.

He asserted that the party is ensuring much-needed health facilities, potable water, various schemes, construction of road and bridge and quality education in the State but the people are deprived of all the development programmes due to the failure of the Ibobi-led Congress Government.

The BJP Government had sanctioned crores of rupees for construction of road and bridges which are keys to development for the Northeast States including Manipur, he said.

He further said that railway line would be reaching Imphal soon and this would connect the State with Southeast Asia via Myanmar.

At that time, Imphal would become one of the developed cities, he observed.

The BJP leader appealed to the electorates to elect Rameshwor in the forthcoming Assembly election to bring all round development in Kakching constituency.

During the occasion, Prahlad  Patel released a vision document containing work programmes to be taken up in the constituency if BJP forms the next Government in the election.

President of BJP Manipur Pradesh, Ksh Bhabananda ; vice-president M Hemanta  who is also a former Minister; general secretary (Administration) MLA Th Biswajit; president of BJP Kakching District, Ksh Naran ; president of BJP Kakching Mandal, Sougaijam Shyamjai; chief spokesperson of BJP State unit, Prof S Tiken; treasurer Robin Blacky; national executive member of BJP OBC Morcha, Md Bashir Ahmad; president of BJP Minority Morcha Kakching District, Md Nazimuddin; Councillor of Kakching Municipal Council Ward No 3, N Memi Devi; Councillor of Ward No 7, Ksh Jhaljit; chairman of BJP Kakching Mandal Election Campaign Committee, M Jhullon and several others party leaders were also present at the flag hoisting ceremony.

Demanding justice in extra-judicial killings...Students march to Raj Bhavan
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27 2017: Deman-ding justice in many fake encounter/extra judicial killing cases, students of different colleges marched toward the Raj Bhavan today under the aegis of Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA).

The students led by the KSA vice-president and the general secretary marched toward the Raj Bhavan from the direction of GP Women’s College and they shouted many slogans like ‘Bring justice in all fake encounter cases’, ‘Repeal AFSPA from Manipur’ etc.

However, they were blocked by CRPF personnel from marching any farther as they reached Nityaipat Chuthek.

Soon, a large team of State police arrived there and barricades were put up.

Nonetheless, four students including the KSA vice-president were allowed to proceed and submit a memorandum to the Governor.

The other students were driven back till TG Higher Secondary School.

The student representatives who went inside the Raj Bhavan handed over their memorandum to the Governor’s Secretary as the Governor was not in her office.

UNC to oppose Cong, ride on NPF back
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27 2017: Stating their position on the upcoming Assembly election, the United Naga Council has asserted that the Naga people will oppose Chief Minister O Ibobi and the MPCC and added that the Naga People’s Front will be the bandwagon on which all the Nagas in Manipur will face the Assembly election.

In a statement issued to the press today, UNC reaffirmed the 1st conference of the Naga Village Authority on October 19, 2016, the decision of the UNC Council Assembly on January 2, 2012, to support the Naga People’s Front and added that Nagas will continue to support the NPF candidates as it is the political party which seeks to work and assist in finding a peaceful solution to the Indo-Naga dialogue and bring all Naga inhabited areas under one administrative unit.

Giving a lengthy statement on the reasons for taking such a decision, the UNC said that among others, the Government of Manipur under Chief Minister O Ibobi recommended to the Centre to declare UNC as an unlawful organisation for leading a people’s movement for protection of their land, identity and future while avoiding engagement for resolution.

On the district creation issue, which has led to the ongoing economic blockade, UNC alleged that the Government of Manipur stayed away from the tripartite talk on November 15 last year at New Delhi and added that when the Government of Manipur was cornered in the tripartite talk held on February 3 at New Delhi, they declined to discuss the district creation on the excuse that the election code of conduct was already in force.

Then on February 21, the Chief Minister spoke to the media accusing the UNC of not responding to overtures for a dialogue, it alleged and added that this is highly unbecoming of a Chief Minister.

Other accusations laid at the doorstep of the Congress and the Chief Minister included, the imposition of the Manipur (Hill areas) district council (3rd amendment) Act, 2008 which interferes in the appointment/succession of chiefs/headmen/chairmen and on matters relating to inheritance of property, marriage and divorce.

The Chief Minister was also accused of sabotaging the delimitation exercise and prevented the increase of 5 tribal seats in the State Assembly, objected to demand of Naga integration, objected to Indo-Naga ceasefire of 1997 and extension of cease fire without territorial limits in 2001, objected to extension of any Constitutional provisions that will benefit the tribal people.

Levelling more charges against the Chief Minister, UNC recalled how he banned the entry of Th Muivah to his birth place, objected the launching of Manipur unit of the Naga People’s Front and the visit to Nephiu Rio, objected the signing of the Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015 and ceaselessly schemed to extend the MLR and LR Act to the hill areas and lift prohibition from the hill areas.

UNC also talked about the three ‘anti-tribal’ Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31, 2015 leading to the death of nine people in Churachandpur and declaration of seven new districts on December 8 last year.

BJP woos minority voters
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27 2017: Claiming that BJP would form the next Government in Manipur after rooting out the Congress Government, BJP National spokesman Syed Shahnawaz Hussain has urged Muslim voters of the State to vote for BJP candidates in the ensuing election.

He was speaking at a political conference held today at Mayang Imphal Bengoon under the aegis of BJP Mayang Imphal Mandal.

Shahnawaz said that the people of Manipur have been suffering miserably because Congress has been ruling the State for the past 15 years.

Appealing to the Muslim voters gathered at the conference to vote for K Robindro, Shahnawaz said that Robindro would be given a key post in the State’s BJP Government in case he is elected.

He also promised that potable water would be made accessible to all the households of Mayang Imphal.

Just as Congress party was washed away in Assam, Congress party will submerge under water in Manipur too, he asserted.

It is only BJP which can bring development and progress in Manipur, he claimed.

BJP State election management committee convenor Th Chaoba called upon the gathering to vote for K Robindro in order bring positive changes in Mayang Imphal AC.

Cong Councillor joins BJP
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27 2017: Congress Councillor S Bishwarchandra of Lamlai Municipal Council Ward No 4 has quit Congress and joined BJP.

BJP Manipur Pradesh president K Bhabananda has approved the membership of Bishwarchandra and he was accorded a warm reception at BJP office today.

Speaking at the gathering, Bhabananda said that BJP’s popularity has been rising like a tsunami just as Congress party’s popularity has been receding fast.

He exuded confidence that S Bishwarchandra would take pro-active roles in ensuring a thumping victory of BJP candidate in Lamlai AC Kh Ibomcha.

Bishwarchandra said that he joined BJP at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance to keep the territorial integrity of Manipur in tact.

Time to end Cong rule has come: Javadekar
 The Sangai Express

Thoubal, February 27 2017: In a flag hoisting ceremony of BJP candidate Leitanthem Basanta of Thoubal A/C held at Chaoyaima Higher Secondary school ground today, HRD Union Minister Prakash Javadekar stated that the time to end the Congress rule has come and added BJP will form the next Government.

He stated that during his 15 years of rule, Ibobi could not even provide fresh drinking water to Thoubal district and people had to spend money to buy water adding that once BJP gains power , not just water but the absence of proper education facilities would also be dealt with.

The ceremony was attended by BJP Mahila Morcha National vice-president A Sarda Devi, Mahila Morcha BJP Manipur Pradesh president N Sumatibala, BJP Thoubal district president L Deven, Thoubal Mandal president Kh Arunkumar, Leishangthem A/C Zilla Parishad member Md Abdul Latif, retired MPS officer Md Hussain Jaman, BJP Central observer in-charge Thoubal Jagadamba Mall and other prominent leaders.

Amit Shah set to join poll campaign in State
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27 2017: BJP National president Amit Shah would arrive here at 10.30 am tomorrow and join the party’s election campaign in the State.

Speaking to media persons at the Nityaipat Chuthek office of BJP Manipur Pradesh today, BJYM State president P Somorjit informed that Amit Shah would address election rallies at Kangpokpi and Moirang tomorrow.

He would address two other election rallies at Ukhrul and Singjamei Yumnam Leikai on March 1.Referring to the poll-related violence seen in different parts of the State and Khundrakpam AC in particular, Somorjit sought immediate attention of the Election Commission of India to curb violent incidents.

One day political convention held
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27 2017: Khwai Nungsheng Sinthalup (KHNSI) organised a one day political convention at MFDC, Palace Compound today.

INC leader Sarangthem Manaobi, BJP leader Dr RK Ranjan, many spiritual leaders and political leaders participated in the one day Political Convention on the Platform of Spiritual.

Speaking at the event, Sarangthem Manaobi said that the people have been suffering in almost every aspects due to dishonest politics.

Politics have gained such a bad reputation because of all the lies and trickery by those involved in it, he added.

BJP leader Dr RK Ranjan said that BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been trying its best to improve the conditions of the State and the region.

Bringing unity amongst the various communities living in Manipur and ushering in an era of peace is the main aim of the party, he added.

Spiritual leader Abdul Rahaman said, ‘Most of the students and the youth of the State have no interest in election.

They seem hesitant because of the notion that politics is a dirty game’.

Another spiritual leader Ajit Das pointed out that selfish and opportunistic politicians are the main reason for tension and clash between different communities.

Meiteis and Hill tribes were and will be neighbours: Nagaland CM
 The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Dimapur, February 27 2017: Nagaland Chief Minister Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu said Meiteis and the hill tribes of Manipur have been maintaining good neighbourly relations since time immemorial and will continue to be neighbours for all times to come, according to the Chief Minister’s Office of Nagaland.

Addressing an election rally at Senapati in Manipur this morning, the Nagaland Chief Minister said Meiteis and the hill tribes of Manipur have no other homeland except the ones they presently occupy and that they have no option but to remain neighbours for generations to come.

‘As long as this planet exists, we shall remain neighbours and so we should learn how to live in peace and harmony as good neighbours,’ he said.

‘Meiteis are more advanced people in all spheres of life and we expect them to play the role of the elder brother by initiating measures to ensure continuity of living together as good neighbours,’ the Chief Minister’s Office of Nagaland said in a press release.

He was of the view that the present Chief Minister of Manipur Ibobi  has been raking up communal tensions in the State ‘so that the Valley people back him during elections’.

Accpording to Dr Shurhozelie, Ibobi is more communal than his political party.

He called upon the Meitei people not to fall prey to Ibobi’s designs and called upon scholars and intellectuals to come out and speak the truth.

‘If they speak the truth peace and harmony will come to the land,’ the Nagaland Chief Minister added.

Elaborating on the aims and objectives of the Naga People’s Front (NPF), the Chief Minister, who is also the president of the party, said the primary aim of the party is to bring the hill tribes together by bringing them together to a single platform.

‘This party is for the hill tribes and not only for the Nagas and we hope that in due course of time, Meiteis too, would join the NPF,’ he said and expressed happiness that some Meiteis are members of the party in Kangpokpi area.

Lauding past legislators from the hill districts for all the good that they have brought about, the Chief Minister however, rued that in the past the legislators belonged to different political parties and that when they got to the Assembly at Imphal, ‘they become strangers to each other and failed to take up common issues’.

‘It is for this reason that the NPF hopes to provide a single platform to all the legislators from the Hill districts so that they can speak in one voice and one mind in the Legislative Assembly to uplift the people of the districts and bring all-round development to the areas,’ the Chief Minister said.

He elaborated that to fight for one’s rights and to improve one’s living standard should never be construed as going against other communities and that in this present age of global village, ‘we do not want to see our people living as second class citizens in their own State’.

On Naga political issue, the Nagaland Chief Minister said ‘any problem that is to be solved peacefully through dialogue should not be construed as going against any community’ and assured that his party stands by its motto Fide Non Armis (By Faith, Not by Arms).

Womens’ group rebuffs allegations
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27 2017: Apunba Mayai Kaba Chinjak Thingba Lup, Keinou Thongkha Makha Leikai has clarified that the allegations raised by MLA Dr I Ibohalbi, INC candidate in Oinam AC for the ensuing Assembly election and his supporters against the organisation in local media is baseless and concocted.

Addressing a press meet held at Keinou Thongkha today, president of the anti-drugs organisation, Ahongsangbam Shanti said that a feast in connection with the coming election was organised at the residence of one Ngangom Lukhoi (50) wherein quarrels amongst some people occurred.

She said that members of the organisation went to the residence to ask the people to not create unwanted scenes but they were attacked by Lukhoi and his wife.

She said that one of the members namely Ahongsangbam Joymati suffered injuries on her right hand in the attack.

She claimed that Naorem Deben (48), Nongthombam Bishambor (43), Leishangthem Ingocha (40), Thoudam Sobha (44) and Ahongsangbam Hemanta (49) were present at the feast.

Shanti said that N Pakchao (52) and A Sharat (48) were handed over to police for creating unwanted scenes under the influence of alcohol.

Members of the organisation did not snatch money from the two persons as claimed by the MLA and his supporters.

Statements made by Lukhoi and Deben in some local dailies regarding the incident are all false and fabricated, she clarified.

Saying that MLA Ibohalbi has wrongly termed members of the organisation as supporters of BJP, she appealed to all to not create such incident in the locality in the future.

Former Nagaland CM Zeliang says ‘blockade’ creation of Ibobi
 The Sangai Express

Dimapur, February 27 2017: Former Chief Minister of Nagaland and present Chairman of DAN Coordination Committee TR Zeliang said the ongoing blockade in Manipur is the handiwork of the Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi  and that to lift it or to let it continue depends on him alone.

Addressing an election rally this morning at Senapati, Zeliang said when BJP leaders Ram Madhav and Himanta Sarma Biswa paid a brief courtesy call on the new Chief Minister of Nagaland yesterday, they asked in passing whether the Chief Minister and himself could speak to the UNC to lift the blockade but that he replied ‘the blockade was Ibobi’s creation and it depends on him (Ibobi) whether it could be lifted or whether it would continue.

Let us see the outcome of the tripartite talks with the UNC and the Government of India’.

‘He had created new districts without consulting the stakeholders knowing fully well this would result in protests and blockades.

But expecting the Valley people to back him up and vote for his party, he had announced the creation of these new districts.

It now depends on him whether to revoke the Government decision or to let it stand,’ Zeliang said.

‘Dividing the people on communal lines and appealing to a section of the people for political gains is not advisable,’ Zeliang said.

Lamenting that the Naga political issue is yet to be resolved even after a lapse of almost 20 years after ceasefires were signed, Zeliang said there are ‘some political elements who do not want the problem to be solved because they think that once the Naga problem is solved, their political careers would come to an end’.

He said that problems that are being resolved through peaceful dialogue should not be opposed by anyone and hoped that ‘sooner than later the Naga political problem shall be solved amicably without hurting the sentiments and emotions of any other communities’.

Recalling how he had written to NSCK (K) supremo Khaplang when he was the Chief Minister to re-enter into Ceasefire Agreement with the Government of India as well as with the Government of Myanmar, he expressed his sincere wish that a peaceful atmosphere would be created with Ceasefire agreements so that ‘Nagas living in both the countries can have dialogue and solve the political problem once and for all’.

Zeliang asserted that the NPF supports solution of the Naga political problem through peaceful dialogue and not through armed conflict.

Locals torch election flying squad vehicle
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27 2017: Locals of Khundrakpam burnt down a Tata Sumo vehicle used by a team of election flying squad, on suspicion of fake election officials and collecting information of some individuals who are allegedly involved in ransacking of an INC election camp.

The incident took place at Sambri, Imphal East today at around 3 pm.

The vehicle belongs to Veterinary Department and has been used by an election flying squad for election-related works.

According to the locals who prevented police personnel from proceeding towards the incident site, a team of election flying squad came in three vehicles when they were holding a meeting at YVO ground against the firing of tear gas shell by police yesterday in which a seven- month old infant sustained injuries.

They said that the flying squad team took a photograph of the meeting and went to an INC election camp where the latter collected information of some persons who are allegedly involved in ransacking of the camp at Khundrakpam.

The locals asked the election officials why they were collecting the information by forcibly going to the place and to produce identification proof which they failed to do so.

They then contacted women folks of Sambri and asked to stop the vehicles.

The women folks managed to stop one of the vehicles while the two remaining fled the scene.

The locals claimed that they detained two election officials who came on the Tata Sumo.

The two election officials who were later rescued by police termed the allegations levelled against them as baseless, clarifying that only two vehicles went to the area to collect information of some individuals as per a complaint filed against the ransacking of an INC election camp.

They further clarified that they have nothing to do with the meeting of the locals.

The election officials said that the meeting was held at a ground near the camp after which they contacted the concerned Returning Officer and went to the camp.

They claimed that just when they were about to leave the place, one person ran towards the meeting site and all of a sudden a mob came towards them.

They thanked those local elders who took them to a safer place along with police personnel.

They appealed to all to not give such kind of disturbance to election officials who are working hard for holding the forthcoming Assembly election.

UNC to oppose Cong, ride on NPF back
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27 2017: Stating their position on the upcoming Assembly election, the United Naga Council has asserted that the Naga people will oppose Chief Minister O Ibobi and the MPCC and added that the Naga People’s Front will be the bandwagon on which all the Nagas in Manipur will face the Assembly election.

In a statement issued to the press today, UNC reaffirmed the 1st conference of the Naga Village Authority on October 19, 2016, the decision of the UNC Council Assembly on January 2, 2012, to support the Naga People’s Front and added that Nagas will continue to support the NPF candidates as it is the political party which seeks to work and assist in finding a peaceful solution to the Indo-Naga dialogue and bring all Naga inhabited areas under one administrative unit.

Giving a lengthy statement on the reasons for taking such a decision, the UNC said that among others, the Government of Manipur under Chief Minister O Ibobi recommended to the Centre to declare UNC as an unlawful organisation for leading a people’s movement for protection of their land, identity and future while avoiding engagement for resolution.

On the district creation issue, which has led to the ongoing economic blockade, UNC alleged that the Government of Manipur stayed away from the tripartite talk on November 15 last year at New Delhi and added that when the Government of Manipur was cornered in the tripartite talk held on February 3 at New Delhi, they declined to discuss the district creation on the excuse that the election code of conduct was already in force.

Then on February 21, the Chief Minister spoke to the media accusing the UNC of not responding to overtures for a dialogue, it alleged and added that this is highly unbecoming of a Chief Minister.

Other accusations laid at the doorstep of the Congress and the Chief Minister included, the imposition of the Manipur (Hill areas) district council (3rd amendment) Act, 2008 which interferes in the appointment/succession of chiefs/headmen/chairmen and on matters relating to inheritance of property, marriage and divorce.

The Chief Minister was also accused of sabotaging the delimitation exercise and prevented the increase of 5 tribal seats in the State Assembly, objected to demand of Naga integration, objected to Indo-Naga ceasefire of 1997 and extension of cease fire without territorial limits in 2001, objected to extension of any Constitutional provisions that will benefit the tribal people.

Levelling more charges against the Chief Minister, UNC recalled how he banned the entry of Th Muivah to his birth place, objected the launching of Manipur unit of the Naga People’s Front and the visit to Nephiu Rio, objected the signing of the Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015 and ceaselessly schemed to extend the MLR and LR Act to the hill areas and lift prohibition from the hill areas.

UNC also talked about the three ‘anti-tribal’ Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31, 2015 leading to the death of nine people in Churachandpur and declaration of seven new districts on December 8 last year.

Ibobi dares BJP to prove corruption allegations
Imphal Free Press| Feb 26

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi  today dared BJP to probe any member of his family instead of hurling wild allegations of corruption and drug smuggling cases.

CM stated this while campaigning for INC candidate in Singjamei constituency Irengbam Hemochandra during a political conference at Singjamei Chingamakha basketball ground today.

Everyone is equal before the Law, he said and urged instead of cheaply shouting at public meetings, to probe against him and sent him to jail, according to the law of the land.

Reaction to alleged drug smuggling on his nephew Okram Henry, he said that CBI has already submitted chargesheet, let the court bring out the truth and let him go to jail, if his nephew is found guilty.

He countered ex-congress MLAs who recently joined BJP that the MLAs were the main responsible persons of pending projects in the state like Thoubal Multipurpose Project and Dolaithabi Dam Project.

The projects were handled by them, he blamed.

Ibobi questioned Prime  Minister Narendra Modi that if there is not a single word in the Indo-NSCH (IM) agreement that may affect on the interest of state integrity then what is the harm in uploading the agreement in internet and let people know about it.

‘Uploading in internet won’t take even a minute,’ he demanded.

He further challenged BJP that who made India among super power countries in the field of science and technology.

Is it BJP government who came to power just two and half year back made India progress such far? he asked.

Javadekar explanation on framework pact
Imphal Free Press | Feb 26

Union minister for human resource development (HRD), Prakash Javadekar evaded direct replies to most of the questions from reporters at a press conference held at BJP party office located at Nityaipat Chuthek in the city today.

His only answer to most of the questions was ‘water.’

When this reporter asked him the reason of not disclosing the contents of the framework agreement signed between the Centre and NSCN (IM) Javadekar replied that people of the state are convinced when Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said that there was nothing against Manipur in the agreement.

When further insisted the Union minister said without elaborating ‘the details are not disclosed because work is in progress.’

Before this question another reporter wanted to know his response to chief minister Okram Ibobi ‘s challenge thrown to BJP on the issue of corruption.

Ibobi  yesterday dared the BJP, which is leading the NDA government at the Centre to probe charges of corruption and book the guilty.

Responding to the reporter’s question Javadekar replied as a ‘reporter tell me do you get water.’

After a verbal exchange between the reporter and the minister Javadekar finally had to say that the ‘details are not disclosed because work is in progress.’

Javadekar said Prime Minister’s visit was a ‘grand success’ that boosted the morale of BJP.

Stating that Javadekar he visited state’s Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) and Manipur State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) complex the minister claimed ISBT is seen vacant and found that it is being kept unutilised since two years back. He further lamented the condition of MSRTC saying that the entire 25 low floor buses are kept unused.

Javadekar concerning of the availability of safe drinking water in the state said that during his stay in the state witnessed the poor water supply system of the state. He said that in the state capital Government has failed supplying safe drinking water for every household.

‘Water, water everywhere when it rains but no water on tap’, Javadekar expressed that it has been 70 years of Independence and state government has failed in supplying drinking water for the public.

‘Modi’s clarification has no takers’
Imphal Free Press | Feb 26

The All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) said that the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi clarification on the frame work agreement during his Imphal visit cannot be considered unless the details of the frame work agreement is disclosed to the people of the state.

Addressing a press meet held today at AMSU head office at DM College campus, Imphal AMSU general secretary Manjit Sarangthem said that the statement given by NSCN-IM on February 24, that the framework Agreement would pave the way for recognition of the ‘unique history’ of Nagas is totally contradictory with the statement given by the Prime Minster in his speech yesterday.

Keeping the details of the frame work agreement secret throws up a big question whether the agreement would affect to the boundaries of the state and other north eastern states or not and has led to various speculations and a restive communal situation, he added.

‘The center should disclose the details of the framework in order to gain the trust of the people in the statement given by the Prime Minister,’ said Manjit.

He said that AMSU along with different civil organisations will take up further strong agitation until the details of the frame works agreement is disclose to the people of the state.

The political parties of the state should also act strongly against the centre to disclose the frame work agreement instead of focusing only on election campaign, added Manjit.

Do not support criminal candidates: Nimaichand
Imphal Free Press | Feb 26

The Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) candidate of Andro assembly constituency Nimaichand Luwang said that the people of the state should not support the candidate who has criminal records, in order to save the state from diminishing.

Addressing a press meet held today at BJP state head office at Nityaipat Chuthek Nimaichand said that the Congress party has been promoting people who has criminal records as there are candidates from the past as well promoting the corruption culture in the state.

So the people has been sufferings with numerous problems such as unemployment, fake encounters, price rise, bandh, blockades etc, he added.

He added that the Congress candidate of the Andro assembly constituency Th Shyamkumar has many criminal records in his past as well as has filed false information in his nomination affidavit.

Shyamkumar had also used fake education qualification certificate even during the nomination of the 2007 and 2012 assembly election, said Nimai Chand.

He added that since the Returning Officer of Andro assembly constituency does not have the power to reject the nomination paper in such cases, he will take up the matter to the High Court very soon.

In order to bring true democracy, corruption free and development in the state people should not support the candidates who have criminal background and mostly the Congress party who uses their political power for their private gains, he added.

Nimai Chand further added that the coming election is the time for the people to change the dirty system of the state to a clean state, and asked to support BJP to help in removing the dirty system from the state.

Congress MLA lodges complaint against PM Modi
Imphal Free Press | Feb 26

Congress state spokesperson and MLA L Ibomcha  has filed a complaint to the Election Commission of India and to the Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur against the Prime Minster of India Narendra Modi for violating the model code of conduct.

Addressing a press meet held today at his residence at Keishamthong, L Ibomcha said that the Prime Minister promising to lift the blockade after forming BJP government in the state during his Imphal visit clearly says that the United Naga Council is under the influence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He asked, ‘Will the blockade remain forever in the state, in case the next government in the state is not formed by BJP?’

From the statement of the Prime Minister it clearly states that the economic blockade is the handiwork of BJP for their political convenience, he added.

The Prime Minister’s statement to lift the blockade after forming BJP government is also a way of creating an impression that he has been doing so with a view to influence the voters of the state, said Ibomcha.

He added that a complaint has been filed against the Prime Minister for violating the code of conduct to the Election Commission of India and to the Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur.

I don’t play dirty politics: Thangminlien

I don’t agree with the popular saying, politics is a dirty game as I played only clean politics and I will never indulge in dirty politics, asserted state NPP supremo Thangminlen Kipgen.

The state NPP president was speaking during the flag hoisting and election campaign of N. Kayisii, NPP candidate of Tadubi AC yesterday at local ground, Makhan Khuman.

He graced the occasion as Chief Guest.

While conveying his commitment to protect and defend the rights of the people and their lands, the NPP president lamented that NPP is a tribal-centric party.

Comparing 49-Tadubi AC as a pond with variety of fishes, Kipgen averred that if the water in the pond is dirty the entire fishes will suffer and motivate the voters to be intelligent enough while voting to sustain the cleanliness of the pond.

He further maintained that election of N.Kayisii as the representative of the constituency would usher in an era of peace and development which has eluded the people and area for so long.

Thangminlen Kipgen hoisted the the party flag in the presence of the gathering while Rev. Chokho, Youth Secretary, MBCA provoked a blessing prayer for the candidate along with Reverend, pastors and catechist.

Speaking at the function, N.Kayisii urged the voters of Tadubi to extend their support so as to uphold peace and harmony among the people belonging to different communities and build a peaceful and developed society.

The program was attended by representatives from different communities in the constituency apart from village chiefs, leaders, chairman and secretary who pledge to support the NPP candidate.

NEIDP for territorial integrity
Imphal Free Press | Feb 26

North East India Development Party would safeguard every inch of the land, if there is any encroachment in territorial integrity of the state at framework agreement said Potsangbam Dhanakumar  of Keishamthong A/C.

It was said while addressing the public at a public convention organised at the Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai community hall.

He further re-affirmed that NEIDP will always work to maintain the territorial integrity of the state.

Further he said, besides territorial integrity, the state also needs emotional and administrative integrity. These will only put the state forward.

Nevertheless it will take time but it is not impossible, thus needs to work upon to achieve it, he added.

 Meanwhile, he said our state is much lagging behind due to corrupted politician. They are not responsible enough for the state.

He added that NEIDP have taken a pledge that their objective is to let the region developed by practicing transparent politics and taking up region oriented project.

Meanwhile, NEIDP has opened its Karbi Anglong Autonomous District office at Danka Mokam Karbi Anglong and also appointed its office bearers on February 22, said a release signed by NEIDP propaganda secretary Brojendro Yumlembam.  It further said Dhonsing Timung, Mongol  Bey, Bidya Terong and Nepolean Tisu as the president, general secretary, organization secretary and treasurer respectively.

SVEEP campaign grand finale
Imphal Free Press | Feb 26

The Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) campaign grand finale, 2017 organised today at MFDC auditorium, Palace Compound, Imphal today.

The program was organised under the theme ‘Maximum participation with ethical voting’ by Chief electoral officer, Manipur.

SVEEP is a programme of multi interventions through different modes and media designed to educate citizens, electors and voters about the electoral process in order to increase their awareness and participation in the electoral processes.

The program was attended by O Nabakishore , Chief Secretary, government of Manipur as chief guest, Dr J Suresh Babu, Additional Chief Secretary(Home), Government of Manipur and Shambhu , Additional Chief Secretary(AR), government of Manipur as guest of honour.

In relation to the election campaign a pony rally was organised today. 100 pony riders participated in the rally from Hapta kangjeibung to pony farm, Langol.

Addressing the function Vivek Kumar Dewangan, CEO, Manipur said that the massive efforts taken by the election officers of the SVEEP campaign in this coming election 90 percent of voters are expecting to cast their vote.

For this coming election Information Technologies tools will be used such that so proxy might not be coming up. Also he further said that special arrangement for the disables and old aged will be organised, Dewangan added.

Special care will be taken up for the disabilities and the old aged especially the blind. Instead of using the home guards and VDF 6 student volunteers under 18 years and who are not eligible to vote from each polling station will be engaged with a honorarium of rupees 200.

One male and one female will be engaged to help the disabilities and the remaining 4 volunteers will help in maintaining the queue, he added.

He also said that the electronic voting machines are tempered proof and various awareness programme has organised at different schools and colleges. The awareness programme will help the young voters to cast their vote in a easy way, he added.

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