Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has categorically stated that there is no proposal to form a supra State body encompassing Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh for Nagas.
He was speaking at a public meeting at Kangla on Saturday during a one-day visit along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. He said he was happy with the progress made by the Congress-led government in Manipur.
Calling for an end to violence, he promised to do everything within the constitutional means for the speedy progress of the State. He praised the State government for holding the Autonomous District Councils after a gap of 20 years and said that all sections should allow the elected members to serve the people. He was also happy that there was communal harmony and peace in Manipur without which there could be no development.
The fund earmarked for the 13th five year plan for Manipur was Rs. 13,600 crore, double the amount sanctioned in 2005-10. The Plan outlay was Rs. 3210 crore, which was three times more than that of 2005-6.
He was happy that most of the projects announced in his last visit had been completed. Now that the Manipur government had given 640 acres of land, the present airport in Imphal, he said, would be upgraded to an international standard.
The Jiribam Toupul road with a length of 125 km would be completed by 2016. Drinking water would be supplied to Imphal from the Thoubal project. The capacity of the LPG bottling plant at Sekmai would be increased from the present 600 MT to 1200 MT shortly.
Once the Tipaimkh project is commissioned, Manipur would get 1500 MW. Environmental clearance had already been given for this project.
Dr. Singh said he would instruct the Home Ministry to give Rs. 50 crore annually to the Manipur government for the modernisation of the police force. The government would be in touch with the Myanmarese government for introducing a bus service between Imphal and Mandaly as suggested by the Manipur government. This is in consonance with the country's ‘Look East policy.' Earlier, Sonia Gandhi said there were signs of development in Manipur. The health care system should reach the rural areas. She said, the government led by Okram Ibobi Singh should take credit for holding the Autonomous District Council elections. Expressing happiness about communal harmony in the State, she said the diversities should not divide but unite the people, she added.
Ms. Gandhi said the way some underground organisations are coming out to hold peace talks with India was encouraging. The remaining outfits should also eschew violence and hold talks and come into the national mainstream. She said the UPA was aware of the hardships the people had faced during the blockade in Manipur. The people of Manipur were never far away from the minds of the leaders in Delhi, she said. Several schemes and projects were being implemented for the people of the State.
Mr. Ibobi Singh sought economic packages worth Rs. 600 crore. He also urged the Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson to impress upon the Border Roads Organisation to speed up the rail and road construction works. He said despite criticism from the BJP he was not taking up drastic actions against the deteriorating law and order situation in the hills since it was democracy and the tribals also had a right to protest.
Mr. Ibobi Singh further said the Union Home Minister should issue a written statement saying that the supra State body concept was untenable. Though most of the underground organisations and some civil society organisations had called a general strike, there was good attendance at the meeting. Security measures had been beefed up. There was no report of untoward incident during the visit.