Chapter 41

Himanta predicts Congress defeat, says counter FIR will be lodged in ads debacle

 The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 06 2017: Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has stated that BJP is fully confident of winning the State Assembly election and form the next Government at the cost of Congress party. The unprecedented turnout of 86 per cent witnessed in the first phase of polls on March 4 was a clear indication of the people's yearning for change and it was a sure sign of Congress party's impending defeat, he asserted.

Speaking to media persons at the Nityaipat Chuthek office of BJP Manipur Pradesh here today, Himanta Biswa claimed that the huge turnout reflected the people's yearning for change and their disappointment with the Congress Government. As witnessed in Assam where unprecedented number of voters came out and elected BJP to power, a BJP Government would be formed in Manipur too after defeating both Congress and NPF.

Himanta Biswa went on to claim that BJP will win not less than 25 seats out of the 38 seats that went to polls in the first phase.The 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election would script a new history in Manipur by electing a BJP Government. As of now, the Election Commission of India has lodged no FIR against BJP in connection with the publication of advertisements in newspapers.

In case, any FIR is lodged against BJP, the party is prepared to lodge a counter FIR, Himanta Biswa said. BJP did nothing wrong by publishing the failures of the Congress Government through media in accordance to rules. It is crucial to make the people know the wrongdoings of the Congress Government, he said. It is everybody's knowledge that the Congress Government was indulging in rampant corruption.

Even though there is no written evidence/document, people of Manipur know how much money one must offer in order to get a Government job, Himanta Biswa asserted. Once a BJP Government is formed, all recruitment processes would be done in a very transparent manner without leaving any room for corruption.

All fake encounter cases would be thoroughly investigated and justice would be delivered promptly. BJP Government would ensure that there are no economic blockades and unemployed youth would be given employment. Extensive skill development programmes would be launched and the integrity of Manipur would be safeguarded at all costs, Himanta Biswa asserted.

After the counting of votes, a meeting of BJP legislature party would be held on March 12 and a BJP Government would be sworn in in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In addition to deploying adequate strength of security forces in order to neutralise economic blockades, those enforcing economic blockades would be pulled up and they would be forced to pay the economic losses caused by blockades. Himanta Biswa also echoed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement that BJP Government would accomplish in 15 months what the Congress Government could not do in 15 years.

BJP Manipur Pradesh president K Bhabananda claimed that an unprecedented number of voters came out and voted for BJP for they have realised that the 15 years old Ibobi-led Government is quite insincere, incompetent and inefficient. Chief Minister O Ibobi holds the record of being the worst Chief Minister in the contemporary history of Manipur, he claimed. BJP candidates Th Chaoba and Th Biswajit were also present at the press meet.

MPCC chief promises fourth term

 The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 06 2017: MPCC president TN Haokip has asserted that the Congress party would form the next Government for the fourth time in a row by winning over 40 seats in the ongoing State Assembly election. Speaking to media persons at Congress Bhavan here today, TN Haokip claimed that Congress party would win 24 seats out of 38 Assembly segments which went to polls in the first phase and the party would bag 17 seats from the second phase.

There would be a stable Congress Government in the State for the next five years, he said. Claiming that most of the promises Congress party made to the people of Manipur have been fulfilled, TN Haokip stated that Congress party would always maintain a healthy relationship with the people of Manipur.

Appealing to all the people of Manipur to be always wary of BJP, the MPCC president went on to claim that Congress party would be once again mandated to form a Government when election results are declared. The ongoing election is not a battle between Congress and BJP Manipur Pradesh. It is a battle between Congress and the Centre's BJP.

Despite desperate campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a number of Union Ministers, Congress party is never daunted and it would go on to form the next Government for the fourth time in a row, TN Haokip asserted. The huge turnout of voters seen in the first phase reflected the people's unwavering faith in Congress party. He then appealed to all the voters to think twice and see that there is Congress party which will always fight for the cause of the State and her people.

In spite of the volumes of baseless propaganda churned out by BJP, people still repose their faith in Congress party. The BJP Government's demonetisation move caused immense misery to the people of the country and it did not bring anything positive, TN Haokip remarked.

He then appealed to the people of Manipur to read between the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assertion that they would get the economic blockade lifted within three days in case BJP is elected to power. Even though that they have been outwardly acting as benevolent, the UNC's indefinite economic blockade is being imposed at the behest of BJP, he asserted.

TN Haokip then appealed to all the people and vote for Congress party in the second phase too, and root out BJP from the soil of Manipur. Congress candidates N Loken, Dr Ng Bijoy, Kh Devendro, Kh Joykisan, RK Imo, I Ibohalbi, O Lukhoi and E Chand were also present at the press meet.

Reinvestigation of Sanjit case stayed

 The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 06 2017: High Court of Manipur today ordered a stay on the Sessions Judge Imphal West order passed on February 14 last allowing Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) New Delhi Branch to further investigate the July 23 Khwairamband Keithel firing incident. The order was passed by a single bench of the Court comprising of Justice N Kotiswar after the hearing of cril petition number 6 of 2017 filed by Dr Ak Jhalajit, CO of 2nd IRB against CBI and others.

The Court perushed the material on record and passed an order to stay the operation of Sessions Judge Imphal West regarding the cril misc case number 25 of 2017 with reference to CBI session trial number 7/2010/51/2015 RC number 1 (S) Imphal and RC number 2 (S) 2010 Imphal under Section 34/218/203/302 filed by Vijay Kumar Shukla, Investigation Officer of CBI New Delhi SC II which were allowed by the Sessions Court to proceed with further investigation into the firing incident.

Counsel of the petitioner, PB Goshwami gave his submission before the Court stating that CBI New Delhi approached the Sessions Court for further investigation without disclosure of discovery of any fact or document which is required as per a Supreme Court ruling for such case. The Court also ruled that CBI shall not subject the petitioner to any coercive action of arrest. It may be mentioned that statement of 90 prosecution witnesses of CBI had been recorded.

The order passed by Sessions Judge Imphal West mentioned that as per a Supreme Court ruling, a Court of law has the power to direct further investigation if the investigation agency moves the Court for investigation of the particular case.

It also mentioned that Investigation Officer of CBI is at the liberty to proceed further investigation of the case under Section 173 (8) of CrPC.

Post-poll violence haunts CCpur AC

 The Sangai Express

CCpur, March 06 2017: At a time when the polling exercise in Churachandpur's town area was considered as one of the finest in recent times, a post-poll violence witnessed last night has overturned the ambience, with tensions running high and a swift shutdown crippling normal life today. Two men from Lamjang village located along the lake of Khuga Dam were reportedly abducted by some men last night around 8.30 in what is believed to be a post-poll incident.

They were released about three hours later but with severe torture marks. As news about the abduction rapidly spread across the social media, people in hundreds rushed to the village and began looking for the duo leading to tension that is yet to die down till date.

Campaigning for 2nd phase ends

The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 06 2017: The campaign for the second and final phase of Manipur Assembly elections which will test the ruling Congress party in the State ended on Monday. The high-voltage campaign concluded at 3 pm for the 22 seats which go to polls on March 8.The first of the two-phase Assembly elections was held on March 4.Manipur has a 60-member House out of which 20 are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes.

The campaign for the second phase elections saw bitter exchanges between the Congress and BJP over corruption, economic blockade, 'Framework Agreement,' unemployment, "anti-tribal bills" or Inner Line Permit (ILP) related issues and Manipur territorial integrity.

The BJP is seen as a potential contender for power. Altogether 98 candidates, including four women, are in the fray for the remaining 22 seats. There are 29 crorepati candidates in the second and final phase of the State Assembly elections, according to Manipur Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) .

The Congress is in power in Manipur for three straight terms. The party in the last elections held in 2012 won 42 seats. The 2017 election is billed as a major test for the grand old party amidst 'Modi wave'. The BJP has been trying to make inroads into the State.

The keenly awaited battle of Okram Ibobi Singh and rights activist Irom Sharmila will be witnessed in the final round of the elections in Thoubal constituency, the home turf of the three-time Chief Minister, on March 8.Irom Sharmila will also take on BJP's L Basanta Singh in the Constituency.

A total of 10,79,369 voters will decide the fate of the candidates fielded by different political parties in 1151 polling stations spread over Lilong, Thoubal, Wangkhem, Heirok, Wangjing Tentha, Khangabok, Wabagai, Kakching, Hiyanglam, Sugnu, Jiribam, Chandel (ST), Tengnoupal (ST), Phungyar (ST), Ukhrul (ST), Chingai (ST), Karong (ST), Mao (ST), Tadubi (ST), Tamei (ST), Tamenglong (ST) and Nungba (ST).

The Congress and BJP have put up 22 candidates each for the fray. There are 2 CPI candidates, 6 Trinamool Congress candidates, 1 NCP candidate, 12 recognised State political parties' candidates, 24 registered unrecognised parties' candidates, and 24 independent candidates in the second and final round of the elections.

Congress heavyweights K Meghachandra, M Okendro, Th Debendra, D Korungthang, Victor Keishing, Preshow MK Shimray, DD Thaisi, Abdul Nasir of Congress are in the fray. Manipur unit of Naga People's Front (NPF) president Awangbow Newmai is also in the fray in the second phase poll. L Basanta, SS Ollis, Sword Vashum, Paojelet Touthang, Francis Ngajokpa, Z Kikhobou Newmai, Samuel Jendai, Adim Pamei and Vunzagin Valte are BJP bigwigs in the second phase elections. Counting of votes will be held on March 11 .

Airport drug haul case: Accused skip Court appearance

 The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 06 2017: Okram Henry who contested in the 11th State Legislative Assembly election from Wangkhei Assembly Constituency on INC candidate and other four accused in the Tulihal Airport drug seizure case failed to appear before the Special Court, Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substance (ND & PS) Lamphelpat today.

The other four accused in the infamous drug seizure case are Sapam Angus @ Naoba @ Nanao, Md Rajauddin, Ramveer Tyagi and Rajneesh Kumar from Ghaziabad.

They were chargesheeted by CBI Kolkata Crime Branch last year.

The five accused were represented by their counsels in today's hearing of the case.

BJP urged to clarify on uncertified ads
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 06 2017: The Editors' Guild, Manipur today met and discussed the show cause notices issued to eight Editors of Imphal based newspapers by the Election Commission of India for carrying an advertisement made by the Manipur unit of the BJP on March 3 .

The meeting took serious view of the fact that the BJP authorities inserted the advertisement by giving media certification which was not related to the advertisement material submitted by it thus inviting the ECI to issue the show cause notices.

It has come to the knowledge of the Editors from the Addl.

CEO that the material submitted for advertisement had been rejected by the State level MCMC., said EGM in a statement.

However, the material was accepted by the media houses concerned in good faith as it was submitted along with a media certification.

Since the CEO's office has now served show cause notices to the media houses and filed FIRs against 8 Editors, EGM said that it is constrained to ask the BJP Manipur unit to clarify as to how it submitted an advertisement which was not cleared by the State level MCMC.

Failure to clarify would be construed as a deliberate attempt to mislead the media houses.

"We also condemn the act that has put the Editors of Manipur in poor light and unfair legal complicacies," added EGM.

"From the Editors' side, we have submitted the replies to the CEO explaining the circumstance under which the advertisements were published and also urged the CEO's office to take up measures so that similar incident does not take place in future," added EGM.

The All Manipur Working Journalists Union, (AMWJU) has also strongly condemned the manner in which political parties in the State have tried to use the State media unfairly in their election campaigns.

AMWJU in particular is shocked that the State BJP fooled all major newspapers in the State with an illegal advertisement, leaving these newspapers with the prospect of facing legal action at the hands of the Election Commission of India, conveyed a press release.

PRJA expresses concern
 The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 06 2017: People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) has expressed concern over the use of term "hills and plain" instead of "hills and valley" by the Congress party in an advertisement.

"According to the official report of the Ministry of Forest & Environment, Manipur is a hill State.

There are far reaching consequences of using the word 'plain' instead of 'valley' while terming the hill-valley relationship in the geopolitical aspect of Manipur.

While the valley is inseparable from the hills in the geological construct of Manipur, the usage of 'plain' sounded more like a sinister design to disconnect both hills and valley in the ecological, economic and cultural perspective of Manipur," PRJA general secretary M James Mc said in a statement.

"There is already a dent in the hill-valley relationship created by a larger political aspirant who seeks its goals through disintegration of Manipur, we must stand politically correct and also acknowledge corrections from different quarters every now and then while working for an integrated Manipur in spirit and body," the statement added.

MPCC President hit back to BJP; says eco- blockade instigated by them
Imphal Times

Imphal, March 06 2017: President of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), TN Haokip today hit back to BJP calling it as a communal and divisive force which has been trying to distort communal harmony in the region.

Talking to media persons at Congress Bhavan today afternoon the MPCC president said that the ingoing economic blockade which has been giving tremendous hardship to the people of the state has been instigated by the BJP.

" In his statement the Prime Minister of India, Mr.Narendra Modi had stated that if BJP comes to power, they will lift the economic blockade in 3 days", TN Haokip said and questioned the rationale behind saying such statement.

The state Congress president further said that when the prime Minister said that he could lift the blockade in 3 days if BJP comes to power it does meant that the party is having nexus with the UNC which is giving all sort of hardship to the people of Manipur.

Assuring that the congress party will return to power , TN Haokip said that the party has been working hard for the development of the state under tremendous pressure and obstacles for 15 years.

"In the last 15 years, we have gone through so many sunny days, so many cloudy days and rainy days, yet we have been doing everything for the development of the state", TN Haokip said.

The MPCC president further added that BJP has been breading hardship to the people, bring tears to many with its policy like demonetization, economic blockades in Manipur and many others.

Most of the so called developmental works being done by the BJP are started during the time of UPA government and the BJP government only change its name, Haokip added.

"On March 11, everything will be clear", the state congress president said while thanking the people of the state for the support to congress party.

Wrong symbol
IMPHAL | Mar 6

The CPI has lodged a complaint with the chief electoral officer V K Dewangan against printing wrong symbol of the party’s two candidates in Kakching and Wangjing Tentha constituencies in postal ballots.

CPI sources said the symbol of CPI (M) has been printed against the name of the two CPI candidates Naorem Achouba (Kakching) and Haobam Robindro Singh (Wangjing Tentha) in the postal ballots.

The sources said for Kakching about 40 postal ballots have already been issued and the election officials assured the party that the wrong would be corrected today itself.

Haokip exudes confidence in huge turnout
IMPHAL | Mar 6

Manipur PCC president, T. N. Haokip today expressed happiness at the huge turnout in the first phase election, saying that the large turnout is to defeat divisive forces and elements.

Addressing the media at the Congress Bhavan today T N Haokip said the large turnout has given confidence to the Congress that the ruling party would get “a very good mandate.” He expressed the hope that the party will win at least 40 seats and will form the government for the fourth time.

He appealed to the voters in the second phase to exercise their democratic rights without any fear and without compromising their conscience.

Some Congress MLAs including L Loken, R K Imo Singh, E Chand, Ng Bijoy Singh and O Lukhoi Singh were present during the press conference. They were jubilant.

Stating that the ongoing blockade is unfortunate the Congress president charged that from the statements made by BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of blockade has made it very clear that the blockade was instigated by the BJP led government at the Centre.

He said the BJP led government only causes sufferings for the people because of the blockade and demonitisation.

“No black money could be brought back as promised. The BJP is playing evil games to divide people on communal lines. The Centre has imposed restrictions on people’s food habits. It is also interfering in universities. Beware of BJP,” the Congress president charged.

He went on to charge that though Narendra Modi had promised to improve condition of the national highways nothing has happened. “When we come back to power we will seek funds from international financial institutes like the World Bank for developing the two national highways.

“The BJP and NPF are two faces of the same coin. We will defeat both the parties,” Haokip said.

Assisting party president MLA Loken said the Congress party’s fight is not against the Manipur BJP, but with the BJP ministers including Narendra Modi. “We will teach them a lesson,” Loken said.

BJP will get majority: Chaoba
IMPHAL | Mar 5

Former BJP president and leader Thounaojam Chaoba has declared that a BJP government will come in the state with absolute majority.

He was speaking to mediapersons during a press conference at the state party office in Nityaipat Chuthek today.

He congratulated the voters of the state for the record turnout of more than 80 percent in the first phase.

The target of BJP is to get 35 to 40 seats or more in this election and yesterday’s performance assured BJP will get absolute majority in the state for first phase election.

He further said the first priority of the party is to solve the problems regarding safe drinking water and development of roads especially in the remote areas and hilly areas of the state.

Also with the 15 years of Congress government the party assured for road development under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) scheme in the entire state but the people can see only muddy roads. But BJP assured to bring 4 lane roads connecting all the district head quarters.

Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), housing for all, scheme for the homeless people under poverty line will be given the opportunity to enjoy the scheme.

He also said that we all know how the Assam Rifles was removed from the sacred Kangla, but Congress is claiming it as their achievement.

Poll percentage rises to 86.5
IMPHAL | Mar 5

Election authorities today airlifted 40 electronic voting machines from interior polling stations of Churachandpur and Pherzwal districts using several sorties by choppers despite bad weather conditions.

Churachandpur and Pherzwal districts went to the polls along with Imphal West, Imphal East, Bishnupur and Kangpokpi districts yesterday in the first phase.

While all the EVMs of others reached their respective places 40 EVMs and presiding officers of the 40 polling stations in these two districts could not be brought back due to road conditions and geographical reasons.

“We have airlifted all the remaining 40 presiding officers, poll personnel and voting machines and safely deposited them to the respective places,” the chief electoral officer (CEO) Vivek Kumar Dewangan said.

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