'Citizens of Nepal in Manipur electoral rolls'

MLA Meghachandra has informed the house that there are names of some Nepali people from Nepal having their names in the electoral rolls of some of the Nepali inhibited areas in Manipur.

The opposition MLA made the revelation while giving his observation during discussion of Demand no 27 (Election) on Wednesday. He said that while analysing data of the growth rate of population of the indigenous people of the state during the last 10 years, it has been found that the growth rate of outsiders is much higher than that of indigenous people.

During the last panchayat elections, it has been found that many outsiders won and there is no guarantee that the same condition would not prevail in the general elections in the near future, he said while adding that the Nepali people settling at Serou under Sugnu assembly constituency and Kanglatongbi areas which fall under Kangpokpi assembly segment were found to have added the names of their relatives living in Nepal in the electoral rolls of the state. There is fear that Manipur may become the case of Tripura in near future.

The MLA further informed the house that various CSOs have been demanding implementation of Inner Line Permit System considering the increasing number of illegal migrants in the state. During the agitation for ILP implementation, a number of people suffered injuries and even caused death of a student. The matter has been brought up in the Assembly not in the interest of the ruling or the opposition but for the sake of the future of Manipur. Therefore, the government needs to strengthen the staff of the election department in addition to increasing the budgetary allocation of the department. Moreover, a policy needs to be put in place in connection with inclusion of new names in the electoral rolls, the MLA maintained.

Clarifying on the observation of the MLA, chief minister N Biren said that the BJP led coalition government has been taking up verification drive of illegal migrants in Jiribam and Moreh areas of the state ever since it came to power. The police in Jiribam destroyed the illegal bamboo bridge constructed over Jiri River. Moreover, the police have been able to arrest Rohingya refugees. However, since the influx of illegal migrants is not a recent issue but has been a matter of concern for the last few decades, the work to identify them is indeed a big challenge.

He appealed to the local MLAs to provide necessary help and cooperation to the DC and SDO who would be sent for verification of illegal migrants included in the electoral roles.

The chief minister also informed the house that inclusion of names in the electoral rolls is link with Aadhaar of the individual and therefore an individual cannot register his name in the electoral rolls of two different constituencies. Moreover, if at all, an individual from a different constituency or state desires to include his/her name in the electoral roll of a different constituency, he/she should provide necessary certificates of their names being struck off from the previous constituency.

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