STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 11th Mar: Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has questioned BJP government why it is planning to hastily inaugurate incomplete projects which were taken up during the previous Congress government by Prime Minister Narendar Modi, when in reality BJP had conspired with certain agencies to impose bandhs and blockades thereby, delaying construction materials and workforce for the said projects during the previous government's reign.
Reacting to the state government's plan to inaugurate different projects by PM Modi during his visit to Imphal on March 16 to take part in the Indian Science Congress at Manipur University, MPCC questioned the motive of the state BJP government at a press meet held at Congress Bhawan here on Sunday.
During the press meet, which was organised after a team led by Congress MLA Govindas Konthoujam and K Ranjit inspected the on-going construction of civil secretariat at Mantripukhri, MPCC president TN Haokip said that it was good to see the list of projects presented by the BJP government which are to be inaugurated by PM Modi during his visit.
Nevertheless, TN Haokip asserted that it is worrisome that the people of the state may be swayed by BJP like the other north-eastern states lured by the power and money of BJP. Thus, the press meet was convened to make the people aware about the flimsy activities of the BJP after a CLP meet was conducted in the morning, he added.
The Congress president contended that all the projects which the BJP government is planning to inaugurate had been left at the final stages of completion by the Congress government. The only reason for its non-completion was due to frequent occurrences of bandhs and blockades which delayed transportation of construction materials and caused disturbance to the workforce, he said.
Further asserting that the BJP is attempting to dupe the public by inaugurating incomplete projects, the he said that the Congress has no issue with BJP taking credit. But the real issue is if these incomplete projects are inaugurated ahead of its completion, there would be problems in seeking additional funds for the project in future, he stated.
Former CM O Ibobi Singh, who was also present during the media briefing, said that governance is a continuous process. Congress does not believe in fooling the public and has no jealousy over the state government's plan for inauguration, as it is a well-known fact as to who had initiated these projects. However, Congress will not tolerate if false allegations are thrown at the previous government accusing it of not performing its duties, he added.
He maintained that the previous government had completed 99 percent of almost all the projects in the state.
However, the projects could not be completed fully due to bandhs and blockades called by UNC and JCILPS, which were co-conspired by BJP. An exact example of this is the withdrawal of blockades within 48hrs of formation of the new government. As the blockades were conspired by BJP, they can call off the same anytime they want, Ibobi contended.
Ibobi further said that it was surprising to see BJP presenting a list of projects to be inaugurated, all of which were left incomplete by Congress Government due to the aforementioned circumstances. BJP had accused the previous government of neglecting its duties, but if one were to inaugurate all the projects undertaken by Congress, it would take more than a year, he stated.
Citing more examples, Ibobi said that the previous government had left the infrastructure of 27 Block level offices at inauguration stage. In addition, it had completed many power supply projects and formed new districts. The present government's only job now is regarding district mini secretariats and district hospitals, he added.
He went on to say that the previous government had completed the construction of a power substation at Thanlon, 150 kms from Churachandpur district. The transformer for the same is currently lying at Ningthoukhong. However, the present government is unable to shift the transformer to the said site till date, the former CM maintained.
Moreover, Rs 100 crore is still left to be sanctioned for the Thoubal project, which is included in the inauguration list for PM Modi's visit. Dolaithabi project also has Rs 70 crore left to be sanctioned. If the projects are inaugurated ahead of its completion, then the remaining funds may not be sanctioned, he said.
Furthermore, tunnel works for transporting water from Maphou dam is still incomplete, while the works for a water reservoir at Chingkhu Ching is only about 30 percent complete. Also, the previous government had already bought the furniture for the civil secretariat in the hope of inaugurating the project during its term, Ibobi asserted.
Observing that BJP holds inauguration programmes even for extension of two rooms of schools, he said that it is very strange to see the government trying to earn credit even for the smallest components.
Recalling the announcements made by PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah during Tripura elections for implementation of the 7th Pay Commission, Ibobi questioned why the BJP government in the state is unable to implement the 7th pay Commission in Manipur.
Stating that the previous government had already set up a committee for the same, the ex-CM said that if the Congress comes to power again, then it would surely implement recommendation of the 7th pay commission instead of indulging in lip-service like the BJP is doing.
Further questioning if the present government has been able to fulfil the promises made by PM Modi during the election campaign, he pointed out that during the former UPA government under PM Manmohan Singh, Manipur University was upgraded into a central university and RIMS into a central institute.
Therefore, BJP must try to upgrade RIMS to the level of AIIMS for the sake of the people. For this, only upgrading the equipment and infrastructure is required as there is no dearth of manpower in the state, Ibobi said.
It is good that the present BJP government is taking up many developmental works for the welfare of the people, but it won't do any good if the government indulges only in lip-service without considering the funds or materials required, the ex-CM observed.
Recounting that the NDA government earlier refused to allow temporary establishment of the National Sports University at Khuman Lampak Sports Stadium, Ibobi conveyed that now news of approving the same has come after the BJP-led coalition government came to power.
As the parliament is yet to pass the Bill for the sports university, the ex-CM suggested that foundation stone should be laid only after the Bill has been passed.
BJP government promotes itself as a corruption free government, but everyone is aware of the truth and needs no more explanation, Ibobi said.
The press meet was also attended by for deputy chief minister Gaikhangam and other party MLAs.