CM refutes BJP's claim, sets record straight
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, November 23 2016:
Chief Minister O Ibobi has strongly refuted the claims made by the BJP Manipur Pradesh in some leading newspapers that the State Govt did not make any concrete proposal for Central assistance regarding the ongoing indefinite economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC) since November 1 .
Addressing media persons today at the CM's conference hall this evening, he stated the indefinite economic blockade imposed by the UNC on Imphal-Dhimapur National Highway has severely affected all sections of the State's population.
The situation has been worsened by the Central Government's move of demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
Following the demonetization move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the State Government on November 9 to provide adequate security to all banks in the State, Ibobi conveyed.
Upon receiving the letter from the Prime Minister the same day, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was conveyed the message that adequate security would be provided to all banks.
The Union Home Minister was also asked to take immediate steps on the ongoing issue of the indefinite economic blockade imposed by UNC.
He said, "It is an open secret that UNC is a frontal organization of the NSCN-IM which has been in peace talks with the Govt of India for over 15 years and the State Govt is not involved in the dialogue process" .
As the underground outfit is under a ceasefire agreement with the Govt of India, the intervention of the Ministry of Home Affairs is greatly needed to see that the economic blockade imposed by UNC is lifted.
The current situation has serious potential of snowballing into ethnic clash and major law and order problem due to scarcity of essential commodities, if the Centre does not intervene urgently, he added.
After Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was asked to intervene, the following day on Nov 10, RN Ravi, the interlocutor to the peace talk with the NSCN-IM informed the CM that general secretary of the underground outfit Th Muivah would be asked to take up necessary steps to lift the economic blockade.
"Any organization whether it is an underground group or CSO cannot dictate the functioning of the State of Manipur", asserted Ibobi.
The CM further added that plans for creation of Sadar hills district is purely for administrative conveniences and not based on ethnic lines.
The Union Home Minister was repeatedly asked for timely intervention before the situation goes out of control.
Yet there has been no positive step from the Central Govt, Ibobi rued.
Though there have been a couple of demand for creation of new districts, the State Govt has not taken any concrete decision.
Yet creation of any new district in Manipur is entirely at the hands of the State Govt, he added.
Further, the Chief Minister stated that the Central Govt has failed to respect the verdict of the Supreme Court which categorically stated that imposing economic blockade along National Highways is a punishable offence.
The Central Govt has allowed UNC, the frontal organization of NSCN-IM, to continue the economic blockade.
National Highways do not come under the purview of the State or any political party but are properties of the Nation.
All political parties should stop politicising National Highways, he added.
He further clarified that the claims made by BJP Manipur Pradesh were totally baseless and it was very unfortunate that such comments were made public.
"If the actual facts had been sidelined, then it showed they were maintaining double standard," stated Ibobi.
When asked about reports of roads being dug up along Imphal-Jiribam highway, the Chief Minister stated that foolproof security provisions would be provided to prevent any subversive activities.
He went on to assure that the State Govt would do whatever in its power to make all essential commodities available to all the people.
The media briefing was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, Commerce and Industries Minister Govindas Konthoujam and Works Minister Ksh Biren.