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NPF decries unrest amid COVID-19 pandemic : Delimitation proposal backed
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 25 2020: The Naga People's Front (NPF), Manipur State unit has expressed strong displeasure over the political crisis which unfolded in the State some days back in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and backed the proposal for delimitation on the basis of 2001 census.

Speaking to media persons at their Tarung office today, NPF State unit president Awangbow Newmai who is also the Forest & Environment Minister said that NPF was not happy with the attempt made by some political parties to topple the Government when the whole world has been struggling hard to save humanity from COVID-19.As representatives of the people, all the MLAs ought to join hands and fight collectively against the contagion.

It is rather unfortunate for the MLAs to take undue advantage of the critical situation only to bolster their personal position.

It is not the right time for political bargaining, Awangbow said.

Political parties would have their own aspirations and manifestos and they have all the right to choose their own paths.

But one should not take undue advantage of the hard time the whole world is currently facing, Awangbow asserted.

Saying that NPF has been extending unconditional support to the incumbent Government since the very beginning in the interest of bringing peace and development, the NPF State unit president, nonetheless, opined that other coalition partners may have grievances which can be spelt out before the public.

NPF too has many grievances which can be disclosed to the public and it can also take advantage of the current situation.

But NPF has been keeping all its grievances tightly sealed as Manipur needs a stable Government, he said.

NPF is also proficient enough to extract political gains out of the current situation but the priority at the moment is containing the dreaded COVID-19 by making the incumbent Government stable, Awangbow said.

The situation demands collective fight and it is not right to let people suffer in pursuit of political and personal gains, he asserted.

He also appealed to all the people to find out the causes and legitimacy of the political unrest.

Saying that NPF is also an equal partner of the coalition Government and it has all the right to its shares, Awangbow maintained that it has not been making any demand for its shares till date.

Delimitation is basically about rationalisation of Constituencies and it should go ahead, Awangbow said in a response to a query raised by reporters.

Guided by the principle that all the people should be equally represented, the Government of India came up with the idea of delimitation.

However, Manipur and three other North Eastern States were left out of the last delimitation exercise.

If one is saying that there are gross errors in the census figures of 2001, the delimitation exercise can still be carried out based on any other census report starting from 1972, Awangbow said.

NPF State unit treasurer and MLA K Leishiyo said that NPF was invited to the all political parties' meeting held on the proposed delimitation exercise.

Even though BJP and NPP are partners of the coalition Government, the two have differences on certain issues, Leishiyo said.

No delimitation exercise has been carried out in Manipur since 1972, Leishiyo said before asking as to how and why the particular census report of 2001 became faulty.

Pointing out that the census operation was carried out by Government officials, the NPF MLA asked if any action was taken up against those officials who carried out the census operation and came up with erroneous figures.

If the census figures were actually erroneous, the officials concerned should be taken to task.

Mere contention that the census figures were erroneous and the population growth was abnormal without penalising the officials concerned could be nothing but baseless allegation, Leishiyo said.

"We cannot accept that the particular census report is faulty until and unless the officials concerned are taken to task according to law", he continued.

The total population of Phungyar AC is nearing 60,000 and two Constituencies can be created out of it, he said.

In terms of area, it covers more than 2400 sq Kms and it is really very hard for a single MLA to look after the Assembly segment.

The MLA Local Area Development Fund of Rs two crore is only enough to construct a road of just one Km.

In such a situation, uniform development remains a far cry, Leishiyo.

He asserted that topography and geographical area too should be taken into account in addition to population when any delimitation exercise is carried out.


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