First party to demand implementation of Article 8-clause 3 of Manipur Merger Agreement

Constituency watch: Manipur

The Manipur unit of the BJP released its election manifesto for the reserved Outer Manipur constituency on Thursday, which goes to polls on April 9. Another manifesto may be released for general Inner Manipur constituency where the elections will be held on April 17.

Releasing the 16-page manifesto on Thursday at the party office, Manipur unit BJP president Chaoba Thounaojam said that since the party has been gaining popularity, it will win both the seats. It had failed to secure a single seat in the last two Assembly elections.

The BJP is demanding implementation of the Article 8-clause 3 of the Manipur Merger Agreement signed on October 15, 1949, between the Union government and the then titular king of Manipur, Budhachandra. The clause says the Indian government will create special employment opportunities for the people of Manipur. This part of the agreement has never been implemented. Incidentally, the BJP is the first and only party in Manipur to demand it. The manifesto says if voted to power, the party will accord a special category status to Manipur. It will strive for a vibrant economy and preservation of human rights. There will be transparency in the administration and it will promote social justice and harmony, and protect the cultural identity of the people. Indira Gandhi Tribal National University that has a regional centre in Imphal will be made a full-fledged university.

The party promises to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur. There has been concern over the construction of the border fence along Manipur-Myanmar border usurping Manipur’s land. A large number of villages in Chandel and Ukhrul districts will be affected while Choro Khunnou in Ukhrul district will go entirely to Myanmar. Following a protracted ferment by the people and representations of all political parties, the construction work of the fence was suspended.

Meanwhile, four observers of the EC for Outer Manipur constituency arrived in Imphal on Thursday. They will oversee general and political issues, and poll expenses.