Plain murder of democracy, charges former Chief Minister
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 29 2023: Former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi has categorically stated that the way in which the Manipur Legislative Assembly was convened today was a murder of democracy and an attempt to dismantle the democratic set-up of the country.

The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) hoisted a black flag at Congress Bhawan today against the alleged demeaning of democracy by the BJP-led Government.

Addressing the media on the Assembly session which lasted for only about 11 minutes at Congress Bhavan today, CLP leader O Ibobi continued that the people of Manipur waited eagerly for the Assembly session to be held amid the volatile situation and expected some positive development but the way things turned out was very unfortunate.

Plain murder of democracy, charges former Chief Minister
Plain murder of democracy, charges former Chief Minister

The Congress party doesn't want to make statements without any justification in the Assembly which is considered as the temple of democracy but discussion on the unfolding situation in Manipur is necessary to end the violence and strengthen democracy, O Ibobi maintained.

Opposition parties are like the brakes of a vehicle in a democratic Nation like India and as such the ruling parties can't do whatever they fancy simply because they are in power, the former Chief Minister advised.

Saying that the Government needs to take constructive suggestions from the Opposition parties to find a way forward in the larger of the State and her people, O Ibobi maintained that the violence in Manipur will complete its fourth month in a couple of days but no solution has been chalked out yet.

He further said that the Congress and other like-minded parties have been urging the Governor and the State Government to summon the House to discuss the violence in Manipur and possibly work out a solution.

As per the Rule of Procedure and Conduct of Business, the Governor has to summon the Assembly session 15 days in advance and the same wasn't followed in today's summoning of the House, the Congress leader added.

There is no rule of law in Manipur and the BJP-led Government has been doing whatever they want simply because they are in power, Ibobi continued.

Saying that the Assembly session summoned today was a normal session as per the notification issued by the Governor, Ibobi claimed that the session, however, was an eyewash to prevent Constitutional crisis and save the BJP-led Government.

O Ibobi further said that the Congress party strongly condemned today's Assembly session which robs every right of the members of the House.

Maintaining that today's session will be remembered as a dark day in the history of Parliamentary democracy of India, the former Chief Minister reiterated that the House was summoned to save the fate of the Government.

He went on to state that the Government didn't bring any proposal given by them to restore normalcy and protect the State's integrity during the session other than the agenda submitted by the Business Advisory Committee.

"We don't know what the fate of democracy would be under this BJP-led Government," the Congress leader said and added that the Government has also failed to hold the elections of Autonomous District Councils, Urban Local Bodies, Nagar Panchayats, Gram Panchayats and Zilla Parishads.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasts of India being a mother of democracy whenever he is on foreign tour but the same is not true in the context of Manipur, he said and claimed that the situation in Manipur is a murder of democracy under the dictatorial regime of BJP.

Law and order has failed miserably in Manipur and the same has been acknowledged by the Supreme Court, the Congress leader maintained.

Saying that BJP does not suit Manipur, the former Chief Minister reminded that BJP was in power at Delhi when the 2001 June 18 incident took place and appealed to the people to teach BJP a befitting lesson in the upcoming Parliamentary elections.

The members of the House could have discussed the issue in Manipur thoroughly had the Assembly session been summoned 15 days ahead of the session by following all protocols, O Ibobi continued and added that the House, unfortunately, has failed to take even a resolution to protect the State's integrity.

If the Government was committed to ending the violence, then they should have convened the Assembly session for four-five days to discuss the issue at hand thoroughly, he added.

Meanwhile, MPCC president K Meghachandra said that today's session of the Assembly has tarnished the image of democracy.

He said that the Government didn't take up any of the private member resolutions submitted by the five Congress MLAs during the session.

Saying that the private member resolutions were submitted to protect the State''s integrity and break the cycle of violence, K Meghachandra rued that their resolutions, however, weren't even listed by the Govt for discussion.

The ruling parties didn't listen to the MLAs in the Opposition bench and the same is a mockery to the Parliamentary democracy, the MPCC chief continued and added that the Assembly session was adjourned without taking any collective resolution by sidelining the aspiration of the people.

Asking why the double-engine BJP Govt is unwilling to discuss the situation in Manipur, the Congress MLA accused the Government of robbing the right of the members of the House.

Sugnu AC MLA K Ranjit said that the people should no longer trust the BJP Government and asked them to fend for themselves as the Government has failed to perform their duty.

Cong MLAs Th Lokeshwar Singh and O Surjakumar also attended the press briefing.

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