Cong raps Govt over NPF no-show, seeks special session

STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 29th Oct: Hitting out against the BJP led government, former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi has demanded BJP to clarify on the statement of Naga People’s Front (NPF) refusing to participate in the all-political party meeting convened by Chief Minister N Biren and reiterating the stand of integrating all contiguous Naga inhabited areas under one administrative roof.

Speaking to media persons after a meeting of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) held at Congress Bhawan here on Sunday evening, Ibobi said that there are reports of the Centre putting its efforts to bring a solution to the Naga political issue before the Nagaland assembly election, which is expected to be held early next year. At the same time, there is strong apprehension in the mind of the people that the agreement might affect the territory of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

Not disclosing the contents of the Framework Agreement is a testimony of the failure of BJP to uphold its ‘transparency’ claim, he contended.

Amid the growing apprehension, the state government convened an all political party meeting on Saturday to discuss the issue and Congress representatives participated in the meeting. However, the denial of NPF, a partner of BJP led state government, from participating the meeting and reiterating its stand to integrate all contiguous Naga inhabited areas under one administrative roof has created a sense of uncertainty among the people, Ibobi maintained.

More importantly, the statement of NPF has raised a major question against the BJP government and Congress takes it as its responsibility to represent the public in raising the question, he said. Expressing serious concern over the matter, the former CM demanded BJP to clarify over the NPF’s statement and BJP’s relation and stand with the party within a short period.

Unless BJP clarifies the matter soon, Congress will take a resolute stand on whether or not the party would participate in future meetings of all political party, Ibobi added.

Congress party has been and will be standing for the territorial and administrative integrity of Manipur. As such, Congress will never accept any new strategy of keeping separate budget and administration for Naga inhabited areas of Manipur even though the territory remains intact as it will only bring substantial damage to the integrity of the state, he maintained.

Ibobi recalled that Congress moved a private member resolution regarding the issue in the last state assembly session. However, the motion was withdrawn and since it is an important issue the government brought up the motion again and passed it.

But the Congress party could not confirm whether the resolution has been sent to Centre or not, he said while demanding the state government to convene a special session of the state assembly soon to discuss the matter.

Stating that Congress party will cooperate and support the government in resolving the armed conflict in the state, the former CM insisted that there should be no separate administration, budget or grant-in-aid within the state’s territory and every financial and administrative matter should be under the state government.

Despite repeated assurances from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, all the Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur should jointly meet the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister and convey their resolute stand on protecting the territorial and administrative integrity of the three states, Ibobi suggested.

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