STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 2nd Dec:
Former deputy chief minister Gaikhangam Saturday slammed chief minister Biren, alleging that latter has been replicating the propaganda of NSCN-IM by claiming attention deficit towards hills by the previous Congress government.
Speaking at the party’s protest meet organised in pursuance of the demand for disclosure of the contents of Framework Agreement at Tera Loukham Leirak community hall here on Saturday, Gaikhangam noted that NSCN-IM and its frontal organisations have been claiming that the government of Manipur does not take up developmental works in the hills.
Similarly, chief minister Biren is saying the same words, he said, while terming the statement of the CM as unfortunate and irresponsible. He also said that CM’s statement could become a handy tool for NSCN-IM to claim territory inside the state.
At the same time, CM Biren is claiming that the previous Congress government had cut off ties between hills and valley and his government has brought development in less than a year, Gaikhangam said, adding that a CM should not make such irresponsible statement in the public domain.
He contended that the relationship between hills and valley remains intact for thousands of years and there is no question of cutting off the ties.
He also asked CM Biren to think how the people of hills and valley have been living peacefully over the years.
Calling BJP a double standard party, which speaks different versions to garner public support, Gaikhangam demanded the reason for keeping everyone in dark the contents of the Framework Agreement signed between Government of India and NSCN-IM.
BJP says one thing in Manipur, and another in Nagaland. Such double standard nature of BJP has created a sense of uncertainty in the mind of the people and everybody should stay alert over the matter since President Ram Nath Kovind stated in Nagaland that the solution is near for the Naga issue, the former deputy CM cautioned.
Regarding the objection raised by BJP over the protest meets of Congress, Gaikhangam said that the concern of BJP is a good thing for the state as it is akin to asking not to worry about the integrity of the state. Since they are the ones that have been assuring the people, they should take the brunt if the outcome of the agreement is not desirable for the state, he added.
He also termed BJP as a ‘show-off’ party stating that the party is aggressive in putting up displays without executing works.
Former chief minister Okram Ibobi also termed the statement of CM Biren over the relationship between hills and valley during the period of the Congress rule as unfortunate.
It is true that NSCN-IM and its allied organisations boycotted and attacked Congress while visiting the hill areas of the state. However, it was a retaliation of the Congress government’s restriction put up against NSCN-IM leader Th Muivah from entering the state and BJP should not depict it as an outcome of poor hill-valley ties, if any, he said.
The Congress government never did anything in the interest of a single community. The district creation was effected to facilitate administrative convenience, and NSCN-IM and its allied organisations are the only ones opposing the move as they wanted to create district based on ethnic lines, Ibobi argued.
Before the state assembly election, BJP gave an assurance to never join hands with NPF but it retracted the stand after the election to grab power. As such, it is possible for Prime Minister Modi to retract his assurance on upholding the integrity and interest of the state and say that he made the assurance just to garner votes. Such double standard policy and doubtful progress of the Indo-Naga peace talks forced Congress to organise its series of protest meets, he added.
Patsoi MLA Ak Mirabai also demanded the Centre to disclose the contents of Framework Agreement.
MPCC president TN Haokip, MLA Kh Joykisan, ex-MLA I Hemochandra, MPCC Mahila president L Tilotama, ZP members, pradhans and ward members of ZP constituencies and GPs in Patsoi assembly constituency and leaders of MPCC frontals, cells, district and blocks were also present at the meet.