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Okram Ibobi slams Manipur CM Biren for not calling emergency session of Assembly

Former Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh. File

Former Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh. File  

The former CM says Biren is fearful of incurring the wrath of central leaders

Former Chief Minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Okram Ibobi said on Saturday that the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur was refusing to summon a special emergency session of the Manipur Assembly as Chief Minister N. Biren perhaps feared that such a step would incur the wrath of the central leaders.

Talking to reporters in Imphal, Mr Ibobi said that the popular demand was that the special session should take a resolution opposing the framework agreement with the Naga groups, which was likely to compromise the territory and other issues of Manipur.

Mr Ibobi said, “ N. Biren perhaps fears that some MLAs of the BJP coalition partners may not attend such a session”. Though he did not name any party, it is a known fact that some of the MLAs are in favour of the Naga agreement.

Some days back, K. Joykishan, the Congress party spokesperson, had said, “If the BJP is afraid of the central leaders, we will do the talking. All the Chief Minister and other ruling MLAs have to do is to stand along with Congress MLAs in front of the central leaders”.

Mr Ibobi said, “The Congress shall never support an agreement which affects in any manner the territorial integrity, culture, administration, financial and social structure of Manipur”. Mr Biren and other senior Ministers were perhaps afraid of the political retaliations for standing against the policy of the Central government on the Naga issue. The reprisal may be even change of guards, he added.

Mr Ibobi further said that Mr Biren also made a misleading statement some days back, perhaps thinking that people would believe whatever he said. Referring to the heavy military build-up in Manipur, Mr Biren had said that paramilitary troops that were sent out of Manipur for elections in Tripura and Haryana had been sent back now. “But the fact is that additional forces have been dispatched to Manipur since perhaps the central leaders fear that there will be violent protests against the framework agreement when it is put in public domain”, Mr Ibobi added.

Okram Joy, the Congress spokesperson said, “The BJP spokesperson said a few days back that the additional army personnel are for the protection of the people. It shows that the BJP is speaking in contradictory terms”.

Meanwhile, women protesters who are taking out torchlight processions every night against the agreement have started storming the houses of the MLAs and MPs as quarterbacked by the COCOMI, an apex body of five civil society groups. Women said that some MLAs refused to meet them while the responses of some others including Y. Joykumar, the Deputy Chief Minister, on how to tackle the framework agreement were not “satisfactory”.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 11:11:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/okram-ibobi-slams-manipur-cm-biren-for-not-calling-emergency-session-of-assembly/article29929693.ece

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