After the controversial issue of proposed Manipur Autonomous District Councils (ADC) Bill 2021 and subsequent induction and withdrawal new members to the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of Manipur Assembly, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on September 10 said the state government is committed to strengthen the Autonomous District Council (ADC) by giving more autonomy to the district councils.
He said this while addressing a gathering at Chakpikarong public ground during the launch of “Go to Hills 2.0” for Chandel and Tengnoupal districts. Clarifying on the proposed ADC Bill 2021, he explained the reason why the bill was not tabled in the Assembly was owing to time constraint to discuss the bill thoroughly.
“The state government is thoroughly discussing the bill. The government also aims to give more autonomy to ADC, within the ambit of the Indian Constitution, for the welfare and development of the people of the hill region”, said Nongthombam Biren.
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren also questioned the intention “why the bill was never proposed during the last four-and-half years, but only during the recent two day sittings of the Assembly?”, reports added
Nonetheless, he assured that the BJP-led government will safeguard the interests, rights and provision of all ethnic groups settling in the state. Elaborating on the Go to Hills mission, he said it is a way to ease the hill people in getting the various beneficial schemes of the government by giving door-step delivery.
Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren cautioned the people not to succumb to the ploy of vested interest individuals who are envious of progress. He also announced that a white paper of all the developmental projects being taken up during the BJP led government will be in public domain soon, reports added.
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Greeted With Black Flags in Churachandpur
Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren was greeted and welcome by the locals of Churachandpur district led by student organisations on September 6 welcomed with black flags and posters to express their resentment and non-cooperation stance against the alleged government’s indifferent attitude towards the tribal people in the state.
Chief Minister Biren visited Churachandpur on September 6 to launch the first leg of ‘Go to Village Mission 2.0’ at Peace Ground, Tuibong.
Reports said the locals were seen waving black flags and holding banners and placards with slogans such as, “Go Back Biren”, “Pass the Bill & Come”, “Stop playing with our sentiments”, “We stand against the unconstitutional inclusion of Valley MLAs in HAC”, “Article 371-C is the ambassador for Hills & valleys relationship, honour it”, “We want HAC amendment Act 2021 passed”, among others, along Sielmat Bridge to Bijang Petrol pump at Family Lane, Light House area.
On September 5, a group of student bodies in Churachandpur district declared non-cooperation towards the Manipur government until the Hill Area Committee (HAC) ADC Bill 2021 is passed and the order issued “to include nine valley MLAs in the Hill Areas Committee” by the Manipur Legislative Assembly speaker is revoked.
The student bodies claimed that the non-tabling of the Hill Areas Committee Bill, 2021 and the subsequent move to include nine valley MLAs in the HAC, in contravention to Article 371C of the Indian Constitution and Rules of business of the State Assembly is completely “anti tribal”, reports added.
CM Biren Go To Hills Mission 2.0
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh on September 6 inaugurated a 30-bedded hospital and a Special Ward in CHC Singhat under the Go To Hills Mission 2.0. He also distributed ALS ambulances and medical equipment to the hospital.
Chief Minister Biren tweeted, “Happy to inaugurate the 30-bedded Hospital and a Special Ward in CHC Singhat under the Go To Hills Mission 2.0. This facility will help the people of Singhat profoundly. The inauguration was followed by distribution of ALS Ambulances and medical equipment.”
The chief minister also inaugurated the Trauma Care Centre and a PSA Oxygen plant at the District Hospital Churachandpur.
“The PSA Oxygen plant has a production capacity of 200 D Type cylinders per day. This facility will provide an efficient emergency healthcare service for the people of Churachandpur and surrounding areas. Let’s choose development over division which are instigated by certain vested interest groups,” Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren said in a Facebook post.
Speaker Withdraws HAC Order
Manipur Legislative Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand on September 8 withdrew the September 1, 2021 order in connection with the induction of nine MLAs in the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) with immediate effect.
The Speaker, in an order signed by Assembly secretary K Meghajit Singh, stated that the order had been withdrawn to facilitate better understanding among all stakeholders.
The withdrawal order was issued following strong condemnations by several tribal groups in Manipur, demanding that the order be cancelled.
Tribal bodies, including the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM), the All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM), the Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO), the Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) and the Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long (TNWL) Ukhrul, have strongly condemned the order issued for induction of eight MLAs “from the assembly constituencies of unscheduled areas” vide orders No.5/11(2)/2021-LA(Secy) on September 1 and denounced it.
They had termed the order of the speaker “undemocratic” and “unconstitutional” and declared “non-cooperation” movement against the state government’s Go to Hills 2.0 programme.
Earlier, the memberships of the newly inducted Hill Area Committee members have been kept in abeyance until further orders by the Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly stated an order issued by secretary Manipur Legislative Assembly K Meghajit Singh on September 4.
The order stated that, “Consequent upon the receipt of application dated September 3 and 4 from MLA Keirao assembly constituency Lourembam Rameshwar Meetei, MLA Thangmeiband assembly constituency Khumukcham Joykishan, MLA Langthabal assembly constituency Karam Shyam, MLA Nambol assembly constituency Nameirakpam Loken, MLA Oinam assembly constituency Laishram Radhakishwor, MLA Lilong assembly constituency Y Antas Khan, MLA Wangkhem assembly constituency Keisham Meghachandra, and MLA Heirok assembly constituency Thokchom Radheshyam, the memberships of HAC in respect of the above mentioned members are hereby kept in abeyance until further orders.”
Notably, three MLAs of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee who were inducted as members of the HAC also resigned on September 4 from the membership of the committee.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Okram Ibobi on September announced that the three Congress MLAs who were inducted as new members of Hill Areas Committee (HAC) have resigned from the committee membership. The Congress MLAs are K Meghachandra, Kh Joykishan and MPCC interim president N Loken.
Ibobi said the decision to withdraw from the membership of HAC was taken in the larger interest of the people. The announcement comes barely two days after the Speaker issued an order inducting the Congress MLAs along with five others as new members of HAC.
Non-SoO KNF Shutdown on September 13
The non-SoO Kuki militant outfit, Kuki National Front (KNF) has announced total shutdown on September 13 to observe Kuki Black Day by the Kuki community in all Kuki-dominated areas of Manipur and other states.
A release by information and publicity secretary of the outfit Jerry Vaiphei stated that the decision to impose a total shutdown has been taken to pay tribute to the departed souls who had been killed by the NSCN (I-M).
All commercial activities, administrative functioning, and educational institutions shall be closed from midnight of September 12 till midnight of September 13. However, most essential emergency services such as medical shall be exempted from the purview of the shutdown, it stated.
The outfit stated that from 1992 to 1997, more than thousands of innocent Kukis, including women and children were killed, 360 Kuki villages were uprooted and more than lakh of innocent Kukis were displaced and became refugees in their own land. As such September 13 became the greatest lamentation in Kuki history.
Assistance for Draught Victims
The Manipur Hills and Valley Relief Demand Committee has urged the state government to release the relief assistance meant for drought victims of the year 2019 by September 15.
In a release issued on September 9, the committee warned that they would be compelled to resort to democratic forms of agitations if the state government failed to release the assistance within September 15.
The state government had declared drought in 2019 and after assessing the field report, it submitted a proposal for granting of relief assistance to the Ministry of Home Affairs. Subsequently, the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) had sanctioned relief assistance for Manipur in 2020, the release stated.
The committee claimed that the state government is withholding the release of relief assistance to all the victims, thereby causing immense financial hardships. The committee appealed to the chief minister to release the relief assistance for all the districts into the District Disaster management Fund (DDMA) accounts for distribution of the relief amount to the respective victims’ account.
Organic Chak-Hao to Europe
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on September 8 flagged off another consignment of 10MT organic Chak-Hao (aromatic black rice) to Europe in the presence of Agriculture Minister O Lukhoi, additional chief secretary P Vaiphei (IAS) and other officials.
“I’m glad to flagged off a consignment of 10 MT Chak-Hao in presence of Hon’ble Minister, Sh @LukhoiOinam Ji. Chak-Hao, a GI tagged crop of Manipur, is becoming one of the most popular rice. I’m happy that many youths have started ventures to market these crops outside Manipur,” chief minister Biren tweeted.
Export of Chak-Hao to Europe is done by Freshies Fresh under Nahakpam Food and Beverages, Imphal through Organic Foods Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata. This highly nutritious rice variety is grown by organic farmers/organic FPCs of Chakhao Poireiton Organic Producer Company Ltd., Imphal West supported by Green Foundation, Imphal under MOVCDNER, Manipur, reports added.
It may be mentioned that one MT of the highly nutritious rice variety was exported officially on August 12, 2021, to different European countries.
7th Pay for Electricity Employees
The Manipur government has given the approval to implement the 7th Pay (ROP-2019) to electricity employees, said Soram Sunnyboy, Co-convenor of JAC of Manipur Electricity Employees’ Union (MEEU), Power Engineers Services Association (PESA) and MSPDCL Officers Association (MOA) on September 10.
On September 10, the third day of the ongoing indefinite cease-work strike of employees of the Power department, most of the area of Imphal city was hit by power outage the whole day. Power cuts occurred at various areas of the state, including secretariat offices of both blocks; however, the employees of secretariat continued their work with back-up power supply.
In continuation of the ongoing strike, sit-in-protest was staged at various areas of the state, including the main gate of power house, Keishampat, Imphal.
Later, commissioner (power) Kh Raghumani, managing director of both MSPDCL and MSPCL, also came to the power house, Keishampat and along with the JAC leaders and Imphal West DC went to the secretariat office.
As the government has shown the approval letter, the employees of the Power department will start restoring power outages which occurred in various areas of the state.
The Co-convenor said, as the government is yet to announce the implementation date for 7th Pay (ROP-2019), sit-in-protests will continue till September 20. If the government failed to implement ROP-2019 by the mentioned date, then agitations will resume, he added.
Nameirakpam Loken is MPCC President
All India Congress Committee (AICC) interim President Sonia Gandhi has appointed Nameirakpam Loken as the president of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC).
Nameirakpam Loken, MLA of Nambol Assembly Constituency was the interim president of MPCC following the resignation of Govindas Konthoujam who joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal on September 10 said in a statement that Nameirakpam Loken has been appointed as the party chief of Manipur with immediate effect.
AICC also appointed Keisham Meghachandra, Irengbam Hemochandra and D Korungthang as the working presidents for MPPC, the press release issued by K C Venugopal stated.
The AICC president further approved the formation of a 33-member Executive Committee of MPCC including former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, for Deputy Chief Minister, G Gaikhangam, and former MP. Dr. Thokchom Meinya.
Former minister Akoijam Mirabai, Loitongbam Tilotama, Punam Rani Wangkhem and Kim Haokip are women members in the Executive Committee of the MPCC.