STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 1st Dec:
Recalling the assurance given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ‘dramatic’ lifting of UNC’s economic blockade after the BJP came into power in the state, former chief minister Okram Ibobi has accused BJP of using UNC.
In continuation of its series of protest meet against non-disclosure of the contents of Framework Agreement, Congress organised a sit-in-protest cum meeting at Sagolband Moirang Leirak here on Friday.
Speaking on the occasion, Ibobi contended that BJP used UNC to win the last state assembly election. Before the election, the BJP government in the Centre did nothing to end the economic blockade of UNC but PM Modi assured to end the blockade within 48 hours if the party comes to power in the state. Interestingly, UNC withdrew the blockade in a dramatic style just after BJP formed the state government, he noted.
During UPA rule, Centre stopped UNC on numerous occasions from continuing economic blockades considering the hardships faced by the people of the state. On the contrary, BJP used UNC and its economic blockade as a means to snatch power from Congress, he alleged.
Even though the Centre rechristened Look East Policy into Act East Policy, no funds for new projects under the policy have been sanctioned so far. Modi’s Gujarat model of bringing development is nothing more than the policies taken up by the Congress government in the state and the party can openly challenge if there is anything better in Modi’s Gujarat model than that of Congress in Manipur, Ibobi dared.
During the Congress rule, the state got several crores of rupees as award for being the top state in low infant mortality rate for three consecutive years. The recent statement of union power minister RK Singh that the power reformation of Manipur is the best in the whole country, is the achievement of the Congress government, the former CM maintained.
Congress is standing by the side of the people by organising a series of protest meet demanding disclosure of the contents of Framework Agreement signed between Government of India and NSCN-IM. Unfortunately, BJP is calling it as a lame excuse to criticise the BJP government by creating issues out of nothing, he lamented.
As the BJP government is claiming transparency in its governance, it should make the contents of the agreement public so that the stakeholders can have a clear vision of the possible outcome and take up necessary measures to avoid unwanted outcomes, he said.
Former deputy chief minister Gaikhangam said that the party welcome the initiative to end the long pending Naga issue but cannot accept any provisions that might affect the interest of the state and its people. Keeping everybody in the dark regarding the contents of the agreement is an obvious way of attracting apprehension from the public and BJP cannot steer away from the issue by sidelining public sentiments.
Regarding the boycott call of UNC against him, Gaikhangam confided that he has no hard feelings against the decision since it is their democratic right to make the decision based on their understandings.
Stating that it was unfortunate to call him a ‘wannabe leader’, he said that all his works were done in the interest of the state, its people and his party.
Sagolband MLA and MPCC general secretary RK Imo said that BJP is known for its anti-people policy when it comes to Manipur and the 2001 June uprising is the testimony. Likewise, the non-disclosure of Framework Agreement’s contents has created a sense of uncertainty among the people of the state and it is the right of the state and its people to demand disclosure of the agreement’s content. The BJP government should make the contents of the agreement public if it wants to act in the best interest of the people, he added.
MPCC president TN Haokip, former minister Ak Mirabai, former speaker Th Lokeshwar, MLA Fajur Rahim and other MPCC leaders were also present at the protest meet.