CM deflecting real issues gripping state: Ibobi
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, December 02 2023: Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Okram Ibobi has accused chief minister N Biren of trying to deflect the restive situation besieging the state, as could be comprehended from his statements upon returning from Delhi on Friday.

In a press meet held at Congress Bhawan here Saturday, Ibobi said that the statements made by the CM and his cohorts on Saturday is an attempt to divert attention from the ongoing issue, instead of assuring to try and solve the issue, which has been raging on for the past seven months.

The government assured that the displaced citizens staying in relief camps would be able to return home, the lives of youths saved, uphold Manipur's territorial integrity, continuation of war on drugs mission, identification of illegal immigrants and protection of forest reserve lands.

However, protection of reserved forests is not a new concept but always has been the responsibility of the government.

He continued that Manipur, as a border state, is guarding the territorial boundary of the nation.

As such, he questioned whether it was not the responsibility for the double engine government to prevent the smuggling of drugs, illegal arms/ammunition and illegal immigration along the 390-400km stretch of the state's international boundary.

Additionally, the government is responsible for installing fences along the boundary.

Unfortunately, instead of focusing on its responsibilities, the ruling government is busy trying to blame the matter of border fencing on the previous governments.

"The 10km stretch of border fencing, which the BJP claims to have completed, was, in reality, installed by the Congress government with the BRO as the implementing agency.

The fencing work, however, was suspended after ICHAM and other CSOs demanded a resurvey alleging loss of state's land area.

If not for this, the then government would have completed 50 percent of the border fencing by now.

The 10-year old Modi government's attempt to claim the credit the 10km of border fencing and to continue for another 70-80 is nothing but a diversion tactic at best," he quipped.

Ibobi also recounted that five opposition MLAs had given full support to the government's 'war on drugs' .

If the hill areas and the government had been sincere, the campaign would have been success.

Nonetheless, the August House was informed that it would be difficult if those MLAs, who would benefit from poppy plantation are not sincere.

However, the present scenario seems like as if the government lacked complete sincerity in the matter, considering drug lords being let off against the wishes of people, CSOs and the opposition, arrest of police personnel in drug bust cases and almost drug related cases becoming cold.

If the drugs case had been handed over to a neutral or central agency, the truth would have come out much sooner, he remarked.

Movement of foreigners or illegal immigrants is nothing new and witnessed all over the world.

But it would be wrong to allow free movement.

The FMR, allowing movement of people from both sides up to 16km into each other's territory, was introduced by the BJP government in 2018.Additionally, the 'INS Imphal' scheme was sanctioned during the term of the then PM Manmohan Singh, he said.

"Government is a continuous process.

Any government which wilfully forgets this fact and acts as it pleases, is simply trying to divert attention from the issue at hand," contended Ibobi.

Joining the media briefing, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPPC) president K Meghachandra said that while the conflict in Manipur is yet to subside, peace seems to have arrived only for the CM.

He continued that the government should open its eyes and ears to the suggestions and advice from seasoned leaders, scholars, CSOs and various sections of the society.

Questioning if peace is symbolised by a relief camp inmate committing suicide, the MPCC president said that while scientists may be able to come up with a method to treat serious diseases like COVID-19 and others, there is no medicine or vaccine available to treat the thick-skinned so as to usher in peace to the state as soon as possible.

Even the opposition is bewildered with the government's failure to introspect but continuous attempts to blame the opposition for any matter, he remarked.

Mentioning the CM's statements on Friday, Meghachandra asked if NRC could be implemented in the state if the base/cut-off year is set at 1961, as per the amendment guideline of ILP published in the Manipur gazette notification on September 23 last year.

He then said that the BJP government should remember its own advice to others that one should not do politics without understanding politics.

Suggesting the government to convene the assembly or an all political party meeting to bring about peace in the state, he questioned whether the recent bank robbery case in Ukhrul was a sign of improved law and order in the state.

Further, being a minister, the CM should read the report of the AG regarding the misappropriation of funds in various departments.

Reality is vastly different from political drama.

Also, there is huge international intervention in the prevailing issue, affecting everyone's interests, including India's national security.

The double standard foreign policy of the central government is affecting the citizens of this country.

All of these is attributable to the nation not being strong enough.

In Manipur's context, the state wants peace at the earliest, he asserted, while expressing dismay over the continuous blame game.

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