House pays tributes to departed members

The third session of 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly began on Wednesday with members present giving obituary references in connection with the demise of four veteran politicians and members of the House, namely, Rishang Keishing, Khundongbam Jugeshwor Singh, Salam Damudor Singh and Th Krishna Singh, followed by a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed soul.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who initiated the obituary reference as the leader of the House, referred to the demise of Rishang Keishing, former CM of Manipur and former Member of Parliament (MP), as a great lost not only for Phungyar AC, but also for the state, while adding that the vacuum left by him could not be filled easily.

He recalled out that late Rishang, who was born on October 25, 1919 at Ukhrul district, was elected as the first Lok Sabha member from Outer Manipur Parliamentary during the year 1952-1957 and was also a Member of Manipur Territorial Council from 1957-1962 and 1967-1971. He was elected again as an MP to the 3rd Lok Sabha from 1962 to 1967, elected as the first Manipur Legislative Assembly member from 43-Phungyar Assembly Constituency in 1972 and continued to be a member till 2001. During the period from 1974 to 1979, he was a cabinet minister and held the portfolios of Finance, Education, Tribal Affairs, Transport and Forest. He then became the Chief Minister for the first time in 1980 and also as an MP of Rajya Sabha during 2002-2014.

The CM further stated that Rishang Keishing was a remarkable politician who contributed a lot for the welfare of the society. Aside from being a member of the 9th Finance Commission in 1989, he also attended as an Indian delegate in the 35th General Assembly of United Nations. He was soft spoken, simple, polite and humble, the CM recalled. Rishang worked for equal development for the people of both the valley and the hill and peaceful co-existence of the people of the State, Biren added.

The CM further recalled that when he visited the late MP at the hospital, the former CM encouraged him (Biren) to continue working for the welfare of the people and said that Manipur must not be ripped apart.

Stating that all the members of the House will try to fulfil the wishes of the departed leader, Biren prayed for the departed soul to rest peacefully in the embrace of the Almighty.

Expressing sadness over the demise of Th Krishna Singh, CM Biren said that Late Krishna was a calm and composed person who always worked for the welfare of the people.

Elected as a Member to the 3rd Manipur Legislative Assembly from 31-Thoubal Assembly Constituency, Th Krishna went on to become a minister who held the portfolios of Agriculture, Minor Irrigation, Veterinary & Animal Husbandry (Vety&AH), Works (PWD), Revenue and Transport from 1982 to 1983. Again, in 1990 he was elected as member of the 5th Manipur Legislative Assembly from Thoubal AC and served as the Forest minister.

Biren further expressed his sorrow over the demise of Salam Damudor Singh, who was born on December 9, 1934 at Sagolband. Upon completing his graduation in 1962, Damudor obtained his LLB degree from Bombay University in 1968 and became a member of the Manipur Bar Association from 1968 to 1970. He was elected as Municipal Commissioner from 1978 to 1983 after which he was elected as Member of the 4th Manipur Legislative Assembly from 11-Sagolband AC in 1984.

Biren, then spoke about Khundongbam Jugeshwor Singh who was born at Awang Potsangbam Khullen. Jugeshwor Singh was elected as a member of the 2nd Manipur Legislative Assembly from Lamsang Assembly Constituency from 1974 to 1979.

Opposition leader, former CM and MLA O Ibobi Singh, in his obituary remarks, recalled the achievements and contributions made by Rishang Keishing for the State of Manipur, including his contributions in establishing Manipur University, inclusion of Manipuri Language in the 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution, removal of AR from Kangla fort, etc.

Ibobi also recounted the achievements and contributions of Th Krishna, Khundongbam Jugeshwor and Salam Damudor and prayed for the departed soul to rest in peace.

Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar, Agriculture Minister V Hangkhanlian, Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar, and MLAs Md Abdul Nasir, T N Haokip, S Rajen, P Brojen and K Leishiyo also gave their obituary references.

Later on, the Speaker moved the resolution for the House to express it deep sorrow over the demise of the late leaders, after which a two-minute silence was observed by the members.

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