‘Plan size contradicts development ambitions’

Presentation of the tentative budget, with a minus-cule increase of about Rs 1887 crore from the revised budget amount, in the first session of the 11th Manipur Legisla-tive Assembly on Tuesday contradicts ambition of the N Biren government to put the state on the path of all-round development, said associate professor (economics) of Manipur University, Dr Chinglen Maisnam.

27 detained for CCpur protest

At least 27 people who launched protest at the residential complex of former minister and NPP candidate Phungzathang Tonsing on Tuesday evening have been arrested by security forces.

National Science Day observed

Department of Science and Technology observed the National Science Day at Manipur Science Centre,Takyel on the theme ‘science and technology for differently abled persons’.

Phungzathang decries mob attack as pre-planned

Decrying the Tuesday evening mob attack at his private residence in Churachandpur town, former minister Phungzathang Tonsing, who is seeking re-election from the Churachandpur assembly constituency on NPP ticket, termed the act of vandalism as a pre-planned action carried out by a dejected rival candidate in cohoots with an organisation.

Students seek disclosure of framework agreement

Students of Regular English School staged protest demonstration on Tuesday along Tiddim Road along which AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi passed, as part of the agitation launched by AMSU to make public contents of the framework agreement signed between NSCN-IM and Union government.

CorCom boycotts PM’s visit, calls total shutdown

Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh said on Tuesday that he was ready for tripartite talks with the United Naga Council (UNC) to end the crippling three-month-long economic blockade.

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Editorial

District cauldron

WITH the March 19 tripartite talk in Senapati district headquarters resulting in the Government of Manipur’s representatives agreeing to consult all stakeholders as part of the fresh process to redress grievances of the United Naga Council (UNC) in the aftermath of the previous Congress regime creating seven new districts, it would be premature to construe at this juncture that the record-breaking economic blockade has ended for good.


Translating assurances into action

THE new BJP-headed coalition government has on Sunday finally managed to end the record-breaking economic blockade, which the United Naga Council (UNC) had imposed since November 1, 2016 to protest decision of the then Congress government to create seven new districts.


Sleeping with the Enemy!

REGARDLESS of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders announcing during their campaigning for the just concluded Manipur Legislative Assembly elections that the saffron party will not have pre-alliance with the Naga People’s Front (NPF), in addition to stammering when posers were raised on whether it would strike post-poll understanding with the Nagaland-headquartered political organisation, the four NPF MLAs have eventually turned out to be important players in the formation of the new BJP government in Manipur.


Finer points missed by campaign leaders

OF the many issues raked up by political parties during the exhaustive campaigning for the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly elections, the framework agreement signed in August 2015 between the Centre and the NSCN-IM, apprehension over the territorial integrity of Manipur in the aftermath of the Indo-Naga peace parleys, the recording-breaking economic blockade along the two national highways in Manipur and creation of seven new districts were the dominant ones.


Anxious wait for poll verdict

MANIPUR could be on the verge of turning over a new leaf in its political history on Saturday when counting of votes cast in the two phases of assembly elections on March 4 and 8 for the 60 assembly seats takes place.


International women’s day

THE phrase, ‘The hand that rocks the cradle rules the nation’, aptly defines importance of the mother, their roles and influence upon the children, who are the future pillars of the nation.


Ultimate test for CEO

THOUGH the public address system fell silent and the dust from the over two month-long electioneering settled as parties wrapped up their campaign for the second and final phase of assembly polls in Manipur on Monday, the March 8 voting will be the ultimate test for the chief electoral officer and his poll-management teams as most of the polling stations in the second phase of the crucial adult franchise are located in the interior pockets of hill districts.


Dissecting healthy turn out of voters

THOUGH the run-up to the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly elections was marred by stray incidents of clashes amongst supporters of rival candidates and opening fire at houses and political camps set up at the locality level, especially in assembly constituencies located in the rural areas, the first phase polling ended on Saturday without any major election-related incidents with a healthy turn-out of 84 per cent of the voters exercising their franchise.


Election of the rich and powerful

MANIPUR goes to the polls for the eleventh time to elect a new ‘house of the people’ in two phases on March 4 and 8. Though the past three assembly elections had relatively been an easy outing for the Indian National Congress, this time around the outcome is likely to be different owing to sharp polarisation of the voters in the hills and valley assembly constituencies as the democratic duel is being fought on various sensitive issues.


Rumbling overframework agreement

THOUGH the contents of the framework agreement have not yet been put in the public domain, which is eventually leading to differing perceptions amongst the various stakeholders, the pact between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM signed on August 3, 2015 had brought glimmers of hope amongst the Naga populace.


Acrimonious battle for power

WITH campaigning by different political parties getting intensified and the blame-game involving prominent figures, in the run-up to the March 4 and 8 assembly polls, nearing its crescendo there is little to doubt that the race for the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly will be one of the most bitterly contested battles ever witnessed in the state.


Testing time for Ibobi & Co

One development which even the politically naïve person could have noticed in the ceaseless blame-game between leaders of the Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the run-up to the state assembly elections, is the growing discord between the Central and the state governments.


Burglarising education

AMID campaigns to make the education sector ‘disturbance-free zone’, reports of private educational institutions in Kangpokpi district deciding to remain shut for an undisclosed period over monetary demand served by armed organisations is nothing less than an anti-thesis to the efforts for ensuring that the future pillars of the society are not deprived of their fundamental rights.


Ambushing democracy

TWO state security force personnel sustaining injuries when unknown militants ambushed the security convoy of deputy chief minister Gaikhangam on Wednesday, when the latter was en-route to his native village in Tamenglong district, suggests that the Manipur assembly elections will be far from being a peaceful, not to speak of being a free and fair democratic exercise as envisioned the Election Commission of India.


Stage set for decisive polls

WITH the last date for withdrawal of candidature ending on Monday and 200 candidates remaining in the fray for the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly elections, the stage is finally set for the crucial polls, which many consider will see a bitter contest amongst established political parties as well as newly floated entities.


Fractious agreement!

UNION home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday declaring that the framework agreement, signed in August 2015 between the Centre and the NSCN-IM, will not affect the territorial integrity of Manipur might have allayed apprehension of certain section of the society but his flat rejection that contents of the pact have nothing to do with redrawing the map of Manipur or other north eastern states, is likely to stir the proverbial hornet’s nest as the same agreement is being heralded as a path-breaking truce towards solving the vexed Naga political issue.


Will the Modi factor work in Manipur?

MANY central leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party rushing in to Manipur to join the election campaign for party candidates clearly testifies that the political party, which is holding the reins of power at the centre, is determined to end the three-term rule of the Congress government and launch its innings in the eastern most state of the country.


Zeliang sacrificed for Naga machismo?

NAGALAND chief minister TR Zeliang dashing to New Delhi to appraise the Central government leaders on the fast changing socio-political scenario in the hilly state, which has been on the boil in the wake of massive protests against reservation for women in local body elections, seems to be aimed at driving home the message to all, including his colleagues in the Naga People’s Party (NPF), that he will not give up the coveted post without a fight, if at all it necessitates the involvement/intervention by the Centre.


Why no braying for NH-37 spruce-up?

FOR the past few days disparaging comments by political leaders against their opponents have been occupying maximum space of state dailies in the run-up to the two-phase 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly elections, for which votes would be cast on March 4 and 8.


Reopening Pandora’s Box?

WITH the District & Sessions Judge, Imphal West allowing a plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Imphal branch to launch fresh probe into the killing of Chungkham Sanjit Singh of Khurai Sajor Leikai, a surrendered member of an insurgent group, in firing by police commandos on July 23, 2009, it must have given a great sense of relief to mother of the slain youth.


Lesson from down south

EVEN as political parties, which are eyeing to form the next government in Manipur, continue to spar against each other over multiple issues afflicting the scenically blessed but politically nondescript state, from national perspective, down south in Tamil Nadu the ruling AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala’s aspiration to become the chief minister has been abruptly ended after the Supreme Court on Tuesday restored her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.


State polls and move to ban UNC

With the Central government not confident that current economic blockade by United Naga Council will allow peaceful elections in Manipur and the state government apparently peeved by the dogged resistance of the agitating council to lift the siege on the national highways, the latter’s decision to process for declaring UNC as an unlawful organisation was on expected line.


Women reservation cauldron in Nagaland

SIMILAR to the role being played by the womenfolk of Manipur, women’s organisations in Nagaland spearheaded by the influential Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) have been fighting social evils and serving as agents of peace for years.


Nagaland unrest and Manipur polls

IN view of the United Naga Council fiercely opposing granting of district status to Kuki dominated Kangpokpi and the agitating council having cordial relationship with the Naga People’s Front (NPF); the Kuki Inpi Kangpokpi District’s decision of imposing restrictions on political activities of the NPF, in endorsement and support of the boycott call given by the JAC Sadar Hills, is on expected line for the Kuki community must be deeply hurt by UNC’s vociferous protest and protracted economic blockade over the issue of creating seven new districts.


BLOCKADE: Ripe menu for poll campaign

 THE emergency meeting of Presidential Council of the United Naga Council (UNC) convened Tuesday deciding to persevere with the on-going indefinite economic blockade, ban on national projects and picketing of government offices in Naga inhabited areas followed by the state’s home department coming up with a clarification that the UNC’s stand to sustain the agitation is against the spirit of an agreement reached in the February 3 meeting in New Delhi are cause for concern and great confusion to the public.


New blockade record in sight

With the agitating United Naga Council’s presidential council meeting held on Tuesday in Senapati district headquarters deciding to continue with the on-going economic blockade along the two national highways that connect Manipur with other parts of the country, the common people in this land-locked state are likely to witness creation of yet another unwanted record in the form of the current highway siege surpassing the 120 days of throttling supplies of essential goods into the state in year 2011.


Festival of political stunt artistes

IN the context of established politicians as well as political greenhorns venting angst against their parent organisations for various reasons, particularly on being denied the chance to contest the forthcoming assembly polls under a particular party, but not hesitating to join other political set-up in the pursuit to explore their political future, the run up to one of the most crucial elections in Manipur is gradually transforming into a festival of stunt artistes.


Indian elections and money power

WITH the Congress party too announcing its candidates for the forthcoming Manipur Legislative Assembly election and the BJP, which is emerging as the ruling party’s main rival, likely to soon come out with its full list; campaigning for the election ‘festival’ is all set to reach a feverish pitch after a brief lull in the last few days owing to indecision on the part of the party leaders to finalise their respective nominees.


The Manipur triangle

MANY would be hoping that the February 3 tripartite talks in New Delhi will bring an end to the protracted economic blockade as the siege on the two lifelines of Manipur has not only been causing immense hardships to the common people but also has the potential to heighten communal tension in the multi-ethic society.


Central sops and restive NE

WITH the exception of Assam, where the impact of secessionist movement seems to be negligible, thereby facilitating the largest state in the north east to make steady progress in terms of economic development, most of the other states in the region either continue to be plagued by insurgency or are struggling to get back on the track after years of unrest.


Plentiful petrol inblack market

APART from the common people forced to stand in serpentine queues in front of fuel outlets to get a few litres of petrol, there have been reports about steps taken by both the government and the Indian Oil Corporation to maintain supplies of petroleum products to economic blockade-hit Manipur resulting in shortage of petrol, diesel and cooking gas in two particular states - Tripura and Mizoram.


No takers for Mahatma, many for ‘Gandhi’

LIKE in the past many decades, functions are being held across the nation to remember Mahatma Gandhi, the globally acclaimed icon of peace and religious tolerance, on his death anniversary, even though incidents cropping up every now and then, and issues afflicting the Manipur society at the juncture seem to have betrayed the principles, which the ‘apostle of peace’ and ‘harbinger of equality’ had propagated.


Licence to act responsibly

WITH thousands of youth attaining the age to cast their votes in the ensuing state assembly election there is bound to be subsequent increase in the number of people seeking to possess driving licence.


Challenges for election authority

DIFFERENT events being organised by the office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), under the guidance of the Election Commission of India, to make the people aware of the sanctity of democratic institutions and principles could be construed as determination of the authorities overseeing conduct of Indian elections to cleanse the system of electoral politics.


Drivers exposed to risk

THOUGH the economic blockade being imposed on the two lifelines is hurtling towards the three-month mark, there is hardly any change in the storyline as leaders of the Central and the state governments continue to spar over who should be held responsible for the hardships caused to the public and transport operators remain soft targets for invisible elements, who are hell-bent on creating animosity amongst the indigenous communities .


Everything is fair in politics!

TAKING into account of senior politicians like Y Erabot and N Biren, to relatively newcomers in the political scenario such as Kh Joykisan, Nemcha Kipgen and Vungzagin Valte shifting loyalties from their parent parties for one reason or another, politicians seem to be trying to drive home the point as well as justify that there is no reason to feel embarrassed for abandoning the organisation, which he/she had been projecting as the best, if change in tactics would be beneficial, personally or to people of the constituencies that they represent.

 


Magicians at their best

THE protracted economic blockade being imposed on the two lifelines of Manipur and the ensuing Manipur Legislative Assembly election seem to be the right concoction for astute individuals with political ambition as well as established politicians to pull out their best tricks, just to keep the state masses spellbound.


Sour in centre-state relations?

IT would not be wrong to assume that the continuous sparring between leaders of the Congress government in Manipur and the Union government headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the protracted imposition of economic blockade has exposed souring relations between the Centre and the state.


Ill-treatment of sportspersons

FOR long sportspersons have been the saving grace for a restive state like Manipur and as such they deserve to get proper attention of the government in ensuring that the athletes get the best facility to hone their skills as well as accommodation and food supplements.


Tough talks, insipid measures

Amid the tempestuous mud-slinging involving Congress and BJP leaders, over who actually should make the first move for lifting the on-going economic blockade being enforced on the two lifelines of Manipur, reports about Union home minister Rajnath Singh meeting chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh at the national capital as well as advising Ibobi’s Nagaland counterpart TR Zeliang could be viewed as the Union government eventually acknowledging that Nagaland too could play a pivotal role in restoring normal transportation of essential goods to neighbouring Manipur.


Restive Manipur

Unlike those residing in Manipur, who have for long been longing to experience the true joy of living with calm, peace and tranquillity, people settled in disturbance-free states and cities have all the opportunities to compete with their global counter-parts in diverse fields as is evident from youths of Manipur leaving the strife-torn state in pursuit of higher education.


Significance of observing fuel conservation month

WITH limited sources of natural energy it will be wishful thinking that people of Manipur will not be affected by the global trend of rapid exhaustion of stock of conventional energy reserves.


Back to square one

RATHER than shouldering the responsibility and put in collective efforts to end the protracted economic blockade so that inconveniences being endured by the people of Manipur are eased, the siege laid on the two lifelines of Manipur seem to be the right ingredient for leaders of rival political organisations, particularly the ruling Congress and the BJP, to outdo each other in trading charges in the run up to the ensuing state assembly election.


Plight of Nagaland women

TAKING into account events unfolding in neighbouring Nagaland since announcement to conduct election to the urban local bodies, it needs no reminding that the objections raised against reservation of seats for women has brought direct confrontation between male-centric civil societies and tribe organisations with the state government in addition to ignoring plight of the women.


Omnipotent force enforcing blockade ?

IF the attack on the convoy of goods laden vehicles at Khumji village near Noney town had anything to do with the on-going economic blockade along the two national highways in Manipur sector, then the current stir is likely to create an undesired record of being the longest siege laid on the lifelines.


Manipur’s pride,neighbour’s envy

 National Youth Day, celebrated every year on January 12, and National Sports Day held on August 29 are two events which emphasise that youths are the most important asset of the country and that the nation’s future lies in their hands and activities.


Niggling issues devaluing human resource

 LANDLOCKED Manipur might be the only state where unwanted issues and incidents persist throughout the year.


Unreliable transporters

EVEN as reports have been published that one of the factors for the shortage of petroleum products in economic blockade-hit Manipur is due to the Indian Oil Corporation authority’s inability to utilise the service of maximum number of oil tankers ..............


Effective monitoring inevitable for a purposeful election

Notwithstanding varied dos and don’ts notified for the political organisations and their agents by the Election Commission of India in connection with the ensuing assembly polls, 


Time to trash tough postures

BY dismissing the United Naga Council’s denial that there is no nexus between the civil society organisation and the armed NSCN-IM, deputy chief minister and home in-charge Gaikhangam has yet again affirmed the stand of the Government of Manipur 



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