TODAY -

Political parties except BJP pledge support to Oct 31 rally
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 18 2018: With the exception of ruling BJP, all political parties active in the State have pledged support and participation in the October 31 mass rally being organised by the United Committee Manipur (UCM).

Ahead of the mass rally, UCM convened a joint meeting of political parties active in the State at Manipur Press Club here today.

Representatives of as many as 15 National and regional political parties attended the meeting and they deliberated on the changing dynamics of the political dialogue going on between Government of India and NSCN-IM.

In the end, the political parties resolved they would support and take part in the October 31 rally which would be held at Imphal.

However, BJP representatives while saying that the rally may be staged as planned, raised a number of issues.

Regarding participation and extending support to the rally, they said that they would first consult the matter with the party president.

Taking note of the observations and ideas shared during the meeting, the participants agreed to deliberate the same points and adopt appropriate resolutions at the public meeting which would be held after the mass rally on the same day.

Speaking at the meeting, UCM general secretary Khuraijam Athouba said that the prolonged political dialogue going on between GoI and NSCN-IM since 1997 has been challenging the integrity of Manipur and the sanctity of its territorial boundary every now and then.

The June 18 incident of 2001 was a direct fallout of the threat posed by the political dialogue to the integrity of Manipur, he said.

The dynamics of the political dialogue changed to a new direction after a Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015.Demanding disclosure of the contents of the Framework Agreement, a joint team of CSOs submitted a memorandum and talked with the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister and the GoI's interlocutor on December 15 last year.

They only said that the Framework Agreement or any solution to the political dialogue would not harm Manipur, and nothing more, Athouba said.

In the meantime, many reports contradictory to the assurances given by the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister had been published in National media.

UCM too received a copy of the 213th report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs which was tabled in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on July 19 this year, he continued.

The report contained a number of false and baseless points and it talked about extension of Article 371A to Manipur which would fragment the State into multiple pieces.

A public convention was held on the report on September 20 at Lamyanba Shanglen and the convention resolved to stage a mass rally on October 31, Athouba said and further clarified that the rally is not directed against any particular community or group.

MPP general secretary H Gitajen Meitei said that MPP would extend full support to the rally.

It was rather disheartening that representatives of a particular party were speaking in ambiguous terms in the interest of their own party after overlooking the common interests of the State, he decried.

MPP has a standing resolution to demand pre-merger political status of Manipur in case the Government does not shed its tendency to disintegrate Manipur, Gitajen said.

PRJA convenor Erendro Leichombam while pledging support to the October 31 rally, suggested that the issue should be raised at the international level.

He went to suggest that a common resolution be adopted that Manipur will secede from India if the integrity of Manipur is destroyed and the same resolution be submitted to the UN.

BJP Manipur Pradesh chief spokesman S Tiken said, "We should not call the Framework Agreement a secret agreement because it was signed in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi".

It would be very unfortunate if ill-feelings are bred among different communities of the State on account of the Framework Agreement.

"We must delve deeper and base our actions only on authenticated reports.

We should not allow ourselves to be swayed by sentiments", S Tiken said.

"BJP Manipur Pradesh had met the Prime Minister and the latter assured that Manipur's territorial boundary will remain intact.

But we must also think about administrative integrity and emotional integrity", he continued.

BJP has already urged the authorities concerned to rectify the false and misleading points written in the 213th report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, he said.

"The rally may be staged as planned but we would like to first consult the party's leadership regarding participation and extension of support to the rally", said the BJP chief spokesman.

Nonetheless, all other political parties present at the meeting pledged support and participation in the October 31 rally.

UCM president Sunil Karam said that no one can say integrity of Manipur will not be disturbed even though her territorial boundary may remain intact.

UCM will never tolerate polarisation of communities and dual or multiple administrations in the State, he asserted.

Whereas the Government of India has been assuring that any solution to the political dialogue would not harm Manipur, Hebron has been insisting that there would be no solution without (Naga) integration.

One thing is clear.

GoI intends to grant something special to NSCN-IM.

It is in the backdrop of these developments that the UCM is organising a mass rally on October 31 to ring out a loud and clear message to the whole world that any alteration to the integrity of Manipur and its territorial boundary would not be tolerated under any circumstances, said the UCM president.

He also rejected the claim of BJP Manipur Pradesh chief spokesman's assertion that the Framework Agreement is not a secret agreement.

The Framework Agreement is a secret agreement because its contents are still kept aclosely guarded secret and Gol is still not willing to divulge its contents.

The way the Framework Agreement was signed was driven by a hidden agenda as no stake holders were present at the time of signing the agreement nor were they consulted before the agreement was inked, Sunil Karam asserted.


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