Winter session begins, House condoles departed legislators

IMPHAL, 20th Dec: The 6th session (winter sitting) of 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly began from Thursday with obituary reference to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Governor of Manipur Dr Sivinder Singh Sindhu and former minister Phungzathang Tonsing.
Participating in the obituary reference, leader of the House chief minister N Biren described Vajpayee, who had remained as Prime Minister for three terms, as one of the best parliamentarians who put in sincere efforts towards bringing development in the country in his 40 years of political career.
Recalling that Vajpayee took major role in the formation of BJP while he was president of Bharatiya Jana Sangha, Biren said that several leaders predicted that he will become Prime Minister one day. It was during his tenure as the Prime Minister that the country showed its might to the whole world by conducting nuclear test in 1998. He also travelled to Pakistan by bus and met Nawaj Sharif to improve ties between the two countries. He was also honoured with Bharat Ratna, which is rare among politicians, the CM noted.
Today, BJP is celebrating Good Governance Day on the birthday of Vaypayee, who had every characteristic and calmness of a good leader. He also authored several poems and books during his lifetime, Biren said and added that his death is an irreparable loss to the country.
On the other hand, Dr SS Sindhu, who became Governor of Manipur on August 6, 2004, had remained as Governor of Meghalaya and Goa. Even though he did not get enough opportunity to work closely with him, Dr Sindhu was a great leader with his calm and strategic character, the CM said while praying for his departed soul to rest in peace.
At the same time, Biren called Phungzathang Tonsing a leader without any biasness who always worked for developing Churachandpur district and the state.
Recalling the late leader’s contribution towards the welfare and development of the state, Biren said that he feels fortunate to have worked with the late politician who was an ideal figure in the field of politics. He always had the courage to stand up for the unity of different communities living in the state, Biren added.
Informing that the mortal remains of the late leader would arrive at Imphal in a chartered flight on Friday, the CM appealed to all the members of the House to pay their last tributes to the departed soul of Tonsing when his mortal remains is brought to Imphal. He also shared the grief and pain of the bereaved family.
Opposition leader Okram Ibobi also called AB Vajpayee a great and unique leader, who was among the best politicians of the country. With his charismatic nature, the former Prime Minister had a convincing personality and he did not hesitate from cracking jokes at times. First Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru once predicted that he will become Prime Minister of the country one day and this prediction came true, Ibobi recounted.
With a strong mind and courage, he (Vajpayee) always stood against external forces and projected a strong image of the country to the world. His third term also remained a stable government from 1999 to 2004 as a result of which the country fought the Kargil War successfully, the former CM said, while maintaining that the death of the leader was a great loss for all.
Ibobi further said that Dr Sindhu, though he did not remain long as Governor, always worked for the welfare and development of the state. He often asked the government how he could help the state through the ministries, he said.
On the other hand, the sudden demise of Phungzathang is a shocking news. Phungzathang, Gaikhangam and him (Ibobi) used to work together as a family and they often discussed critical issues of the state so as to find out solutions. Gaikhangam communicates with Naga tribes while Phungzathang used to communicate with Thadou Kuki tribes to sort out any issues.
He also took major role in bringing ADC in the state. Although he was quick to get angry and quick to cool down, he never held grudge over any issue. He was also an outspoken person, Ibobi recalled, while sharing the grief and pain of the bereaved family.
Moving a resolution on the obituary reference, Speaker Y Khemchand said that the House and its members shared the grief of families of late Atal Bihari Vaspayee, Dr SS Sindhu and Phungzathang Tonsing.
Deputy chief minister Y Joykumar, agriculture minister V Hangkhanlian, MLA Vungzagin Valte and opposition MLA Ak Mirabai also participated in the obituary reference.

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