Avoiding opposition MLAs’ phone calls echoes in House

IMPHAL, 2nd Aug: Reacting against the attitude of ministers and other top government officials including deputy commissioners who are avoiding phone calls of opposition MLAs, MLA N Loken lamented that such attitude indicates that BJP councillors have more say than the elected members of the state assembly.

While raising a query over the issue of flood experienced in valley during the question and answer session of the ongoing state assembly session on Wednesday, Loken observed that irrespective of political affiliation or differences, all people suffer during times of natural calamities including the recent flood situation in the valley. Therefore, relief materials should be distributed among all the flood affected people in a fair manner without any political motives or inclinations.

However, during the recent flood situations in the valley districts, there were various instances where favouritism and political inclinations prevailed during distribution of relief materials by the government. Deputy commissioner of Bishnupur district did not even care to pick up his phone. There was no room for highlighting the problems faced by the people during the floods. Even those individuals who were friends and acquaintances in the past avoided calls from MLAs after they have become ministers, he charged.

Responding to the issue raised, chief minister N Biren, while taking the matter seriously and terming the case of avoiding phone calls of MLAs by government officials as unfortunate, informed the house that there is no way in which a government official can avoid the calls of MLAs during natural calamities. The DC concerned should work for the welfare of the people of the district without distinguishing between the ruling and the opposition. The government will take the matter seriously and make necessary amend to undo the wrong doings of the government officials if there were any, he assured.

To another query raised by the MLA, Biren said that according to the memorandum submitted to the centre for flood relief package, the initial report quoted that properties worth Rs 223.83 crore were destroyed. The estimate was increased to Rs 358.23 crore and the final figure would be sent to the centre.

He further informed that an amount of Rs 4.7 crore has been released through the DCs and another sum of Rs 2.10 crore has been sanctioned. Relief materials including edibles and tents were also distributed to the flood-hit people. While replying to queries raised by MLA Okram Surajkumar, Biren said that an amount of Rs 280 crore will be required for completing the ITSEZ and ITI park at Mantripukhri and the centre has been proposed to provide the said amount.

On demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the ST list, which was brought up by MLA K Meghachandra, the CM informed that according to the notification of the Indian government there are various criteria and recommendations from the statutory authorities. The issue will be looked into by the Manipur State Commission for Schedule Tribe and the report received will be discussed and recommendations passed by the state cabinet will be submitted to the Centre.

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