TODAY -

Cong MLAs to lobby for integrity at Delhi
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 12 2019: A team of Congress MLAs led by ex-Chief Minister and CLP leader Okram Ibobi will leave Imphal for Delhi tomorrow to lobby with Central leaders to the effect that any solution to the Naga issue does not harm the integrity of Manipur and the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is not passed in the Parliament.

Speaking to media persons in the presence of some Congress MLAs at his Babupara residential quarters today, Ibobi said that they would go to Delhi and talk with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Central leaders of different political parties.

"We would urge them to see that the integrity of Manipur is not disturbed by any solution to the Naga peace talk and CAB is not passed in the Parliament", Ibobi said.

Notably, the winter session of Parliament commences on November 18.Commenting on the assurance given by Amit Shah to a team of the State Government led by Chief Minister N Biren that the Central Government would not do anything which would harm the interest of Manipur and all stake holders would be consulted before a final solution is sealed with NSCN-IM and NNPGs, the ex-Chief Minister remarked that there is nothing new in the Union Home Minister's assurance.

He went on to ask if there is any meaning to such assurance of consulting stake holders while the contents of the Framework Agreement signed in 2015 are kept a closely guarded secret all these years.

Expressing grave concern over granting 6th Schedule or territorial council to the Nagas of Manipur as a part of the Naga solution, Ibobi recalled that Manipur existed as a territorial council and Union Territory before it gained Statehood in 1972.The Manipur Hill Areas Administrative Regulation was passed by the Parliament in 1947 followed by the Village Authority Act in 1965.Then the Autonomous District Council Act was passed by the Parliament in 1971.Thus the hill areas of Manipur have been enjoying Constitutional protection, Ibobi pointed out.

Saying that the existing Hill Areas Committee (HAC) is a like a mini-Assembly, the CLP leader stated that it is mandatory for the State Government to consult the HAC before taking a any decision related to the hill areas.

If any territorial council is granted to the Nagas on the pretext of bringing rapid development, it would be tantamount to sowing seeds for a separate State and it will ultimately lead to disintegration of Manipur, Ibobi cautioned.

He then urged the Central Government not to incorporate any provision in the Naga solution which would pave way for disintegration of Manipur in future, if not now.

There is no need for setting up pan-Naga body or territorial council.

Additional administrative and financial powers can be devolved to the hill areas by amending the existing the Autonomous District Council Act, Ibobi said.

Even if financial packages must be granted for development of hill areas, the same must be done through the State Government after earmarking the amounts, Ibobi maintained.

He categorically stated that there should not be any provision in the Naga solution which has the potential to disintegrate Manipur.


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