New chapter in electoral history of Manipur ushered in: Ibobi
'Practise of offering money to voters discarded'

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 05 2024: Apart from busting the tradition of offering money to voters at least to enjoy a cup of tea or pan, INDIA Bloc Manipur has heralded a new chapter in the electoral history of Manipur and demonstrated that elections can be won without offering money to the voters, asserted former Chief Minister and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Okram Ibobi.

The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) today organised a grand reception function in honour of Prof Dr Bimol Akoijam and Alfred Kanngam Arthur who won the Inner and Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seats respectively with huge margins.

The reception function held at Congress Bhavan, BT Road was attended by leaders and office bearers of INDIA Bloc Manipur's constituent parties viz; INC, CPI, CPI(M), RSP, Forward Bloc, Shiv Sena (Udhav Thackeray), NCP, AAP and Manipur Pradesh Trinamool Congress.

Speaking at the gathering, Okram Ibobi stated that there was a tradition of offering a cup of tea or pan to voters at the time of elections but INDIA Bloc Manipur decided to do away with the same tradition during the recent Lok Sabha elections.

With resounding victories over their rivals, INDIA Bloc Manipur candidates have shown that elections can be won without investing much money.

Thus the Bloc has opened a new chapter in the electoral history of Manipur, Ibobi stated.

The victory of Dr Bimol Akoijam and Alfred Kanngam Arthur is not a victory of the constituent parties of INDIA Bloc alone.

Their victory is also a victory of democracy and the people of Manipur, he said.

After elected Zilla Parishad Members, Pradhans and Ward Members were dislodged, the Government entrusted the task of running Panchayats to Government-appointed administrative committees.

Aggrieved by such absurdity and arrogance of the Government, the former elected members have taken the issue to Court, he said.

Ibobi stated that elections for Panchayats, Municipal Councils and Autonomous District Councils must be held in time.

The elected Municipal Council, Panchayat and ADC Members should be authorised to run their offices even after their terms have expired until fresh elections are held.

Saying that the ruling BJP indulged in all kinds of electoral malpractices in the recent Lok Sabha elections, the CLP leader asserted that is no place for violence in democracy.

Neither violence nor money can win elections.

Even though BJP offered money to voters, vast majority of the voters accepted the money but they did not vote for the BJP candidate, he alleged.

Instead of evacuating minority communities affected by the year-long violence, the minority communities whether they are Meiteis or Kukis should be given adequate security so that they can live at their original places/villages, the former Chief Minister said.

The Government should have never evacuated Meiteis from Churachandpur and Moreh and Kukis from Imphal, he rued.

Had the Government provided adequate security and kept the minority communities at their native villages, the crisis would have ended after some days, he opined.

Ibobi maintained that the violent crisis which is now over one year could have been resolved months back had the BJP Government paid due attention but the BJP Government just sat back and watched the violent conflict.

It appeared that the BJP Government had a sinister intention to let the two communities kill each other and let the victorious community survive, he remarked.

Democracy has no meaning to the incumbent BJP Government.

With the BJP Government running the administration in a dictatorial style, an alarming uncertainty looms over the country's Constitution, Ibobi said.

Congress Working Committee (CWC) Member Gaikhangam said that all the people of Manipur have been suffering untold misery on account of BJP's mis-governance .

Despite having just five MLAs, both the Congress candidates of Inner Manipur PC and Outer Manipur PC have secured landslide victories with the blessing of the people and support of the INDIA Bloc Manipur's constituent parties, Gaikhangam said.

The people of Manipur elected Dr Bimol Akoijam and Alfred Kanngam Arthur with huge margins to bring peace and harmony among communities and to restore the integrity of Manipur, he said.

He prayed that the two newly elected MPs may restore the unity and integrity of Manipur, and they may take key roles in formulating policies for the whole country.

MPCC president M Meghachandra said that it was people's single-minded support which ensured the victory of Dr Bimol Akoijam and Alfred Kanngam Arthur with huge margins.

The people of Manipur, braving all kinds of threats, stood steadfastly for the two Congress candidates.

The two MPs must now work tirelessly in the interest of Manipur and her people, he said.

CLP deputy leader K Ranjit stated that around 300 people have been killed, many others have gone missing without any trace and around 60,000 people have been displaced in the course of the 13 months old violent crisis.

Considering the resounding victory of Congress candidate Dr Bimol Akoijam in Inner Manipur PC with a huge margin of 1.09 lakh votes, Chief Minister N Biren ought to step down from his seat on moral round, Ranjit said.

If Alfred Kanngam Arthur's thumping victory in Outer Manipur PC with a margin of 86,000 votes is also taken into account, it is quite clear beyond any doubt that the incumbent Government is no longer supported by the people of both the hills and the valley of Manipur, he asserted.

The election results show that neither Meiteis nor Nagas nor Kukis nor Muslims support the incumbent Government, he added.

Speaking at the gathering, Dr Bimol Akoijam appealed to all the elected representatives to lead the people on the right path rather than hoodwinking the masses.

Dr Bimol pledged that he would raise key issues of Manipur both inside the Parliament and beyond and take the State on the right path.

Alfred Kanngam Arthur too pledged that he would work for the welfare of the people and uphold the people's trust reposed in him by way of electing him to the Parliament.

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