Bodies differ on Titular King’s stand to contest RS election

IMPHAL, 16th Mar: Even as various organisations raised objection against the decision of the titular king of Manipur Leishemba Sanajaoba to contest the ensuing Rajya Sabha election as a BJP nominee, some other civil societies backed his firm stand to enter politics.
Political and religious bodies including Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Manipur and Thang-Ta Loisang, Sana Konung have extended support to Leishemba Sanajaoba, who will be contesting for the state’s lone seat to the Rajya Sabha as a candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In a statement, AAP Manipur state convener Thoudam Manihar conveyed that his party wanted the Titular King to become and MP of the Rajya Sabha and extended support to him although AAP has no MLA in the state.
Pointing out that at present there are many MPs who belong to different states which were once independent kingdoms before merging with union of India, Manihar opined that Leishemba Sanajaoba is an eligible candidate and he has the right to contest in the ensuing election.
Thang-Ta Loisang secretary Ch Sunilkumar also announced in a statement that the institute and its like-minded associations have decided to extend full support to the decision of Leishemba Sanajaoba and any steps taken up by Utra Shanglen (royal council) in support of the titular king. The decision was taken during a meeting held at Utra Shanglen on Monday, it informed.
Notwithstanding the organisations endorsing decision of the titular king, many others urge Leishemba Sanajaoba to review and withdraw his decision.
Unhappy over the political stand of titular king of Manipur, several organisations appealed to him to withdraw his decision and remain true to his identity.
Eramdam Singpangbi Apunba Khutpu (ESAK), People’s United Youth Alliance (PUYA), League of Indigenous People’s Upliftment (LIPUL) and Iramdam Kanba Apunba Lup (IKAL) were among the organisations which urged the titular king to reconsider his decision. In a joint press conference held at IKAL office here on Monday, IKAL president Oinam Bimola said that the Royal Palace is the living symbol of the once sovereign nation of Manipur in the South East Asia region. Ever since King Bodhchandra was forced to sign the merger agreement, the king has been remaining as the head of culture and religion of the state, and the people are according him befitting honour, she said while urging Leisemba Sanajaoba to withdraw his nomination as BJP candidate for Rajya Sabha and step out of politics.
PUYA publicity secretary Kiran Ningthoujam said that the decision of the titular king and accepting the fallacious agenda of the Central government is a challenge to the history. Manipur is among the few erstwhile sovereign nations with living Royal Palace in the world and his decision has degraded the value of this identity and also demean his stature, he contended.
All Manipur Muslim Organisations’ Coordinating Committee (AMMOCOC) also denounced the nomination of the titular king as BJP’s candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha election.
In a release, general secretary of AMMOCOC Rizwan Sheikh expressed apprehension that there is likely a hidden agenda of the Central Government in nominating Leishemba Sanajaoba as BJP’s candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat. The release further blamed the Union government for inciting distrust and hate among the different communities settling in the state.
The decision of Leishemba Sanajaoba to join RSS and BJP and contesting in the MP election as BJP’s candidate without the public knowledge, thereby tarnishing the legacy of Manipur spanning over 2000 years, is very unfortunate, Rizwan said, adding that the public of Manipur should not allow the Indian Government to use Leishemba Sanajaoba as a pawn to carry out their misdeeds.
On the other-hand, Nongpok Lamdam Apunba Lup, Heirok expressed discontentment over the comments made by ‘social scientist’ Dhanabir Laishram and appealed to Titular King Leishemba Sanajaoba to reconsider his decision of contesting the Rajya Sabha MP election.
Issuing a statement in this regard, Nongpok Lamdam Apunba Lup president (Thoupuba) Shaikhom Mantri Meitei expressed unhappiness over the decision taken by the Titular King to foray into politics by joining BJP.
Mantri suggested that Leishemba Sanajaoba abdicate his title if he is adamant to contest the MP election.
Reacting against the statement of Dhanabir Laishram that no one had extended help to Leishemba Sanajaoba when he was in distress, Mantri asked Dhanabir to consider the sacrifices and support extended by the people to kings of Manipur before giving any comment.

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