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No-Confidence Move Against BJP-led Government

With the monsoon session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly scheduled for a one-day session on August 10, the Congress is to move a no-confidence motion against Nongthombam Biren’s BJP-led coalition government in Manipur.

Reports said the Congress had submitted an application to the Assembly Secretary on July 28 seeking a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren for not handing the high profile multi-crore drug seizure case of Lhukhosei Zou to an independent investigating agency.

Moreover, two applicant Congress MLAs have also sought introduction of a no-confidence motion against the Chief Minister in connection with the same drug seizure case.

The applications were submitted by Wangkhem Assembly Constituency MLA K Meghachandra and Khundrakpam Assembly Constituency MLA Thokchom Lokeshwore with Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi as the mover.

Significantly, Keisham Meghachandra and Khumukcham Joykishan submitted two other applications to the Assembly Secretary on July 30 seeking no-confidence motion against Nongthombam Biren and his BJP-led coalition government.

The application submitted by Khumukcham Joykishan cited the Government’s inaction in the face of the mounting drug smuggling cases in the state.

Reports further said, with the Business Advisory Committee (BAC)  giving its consent to holding the 11th session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly for a day on August 10, the Congress party has stated that it would move the court if the no-confidence motion sought against Nongthombam Biren’s BJP-led Government is not featured in the agenda of the sitting. The Congress party would in that case approach either the High Court or the Supreme Court, reports said.

CM Meets Ruling MLAs

Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren held a meeting of all ruling MLAs in the coalition on July 29 at 5 pm at the Cabinet Hall of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

The meeting was attended by 29 members of the BJP-led coalition, including NPP, NPF, TMC legislator from Thanga Assembly Constituency MLA Tongbram Robindro and independent MLA Asabuddin from Jiribam Assembly Constituency, reports said.

BJP MLAs N Indrajit of Kshetrigao Assembly Constituency, L Rameshor Meitei of Keirao Assembly Constituency, Dr. Y Radheshyam of Hiyanglam Assembly Constituency and L Radhakishwor of Oinam Assembly Constituency were notably absent in the meeting.

The meeting also discussed the possible expulsion of Congress MLAs Okram Henry and Rajkumar Imo Singh. These MLAs had allegedly voted for BJP candidate Maharaja Sanajaoba Leishemba in the Rajya Sabha elections held on June 19 this year.

The meeting was significant because the ministers who visited Delhi and met party leaders against the leadership of Nongthombam Biren were present. On the other hand, the absence of four BJP MLAs in the meeting was crucial because they are believed to be confined in a separate camp by the dissidents, reports added.

 

Chandel ambush

In an ambush against troops of 4th Assam Rifles at Khongtal village, about 35 km away from Chakpikarong sub-divisional headquarter of Chandel district at least three Assam Rifles personnel were killed while five others sustained injuries at about 6.30 pm on July 29.

Meanwhile, the proscribed armed groups Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF) and United Liberation Front of Asom – Independent (ULFA-I) have on July 30 claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

The ambush took place while the troops of 4th Assam Rifles belonging to 28th Sector of the paramilitary force were returning to the Khongtal post on foot. They came under heavy firing which was preceded by bomb explosions.

Reports said as the troops were about to reach their post, three IEDs were detonated in quick succession before they were attacked with a volley of lathode bombs and live bullets. Even as the AR troops retaliated, three of them were killed in the attack while five others sustained injuries.

Notably, the three killed in the ambush were the natives of Manipur, Nagaland and Assam. The three deceased AR personnel have been identified as Rifleman Ratan Salam, 33, son of Salam Ibomcha of Kakching Makha Leikai, Kakching District of Manipur; Rifleman Methna Konyak, 37, son of Yiangam Konyak of Totok Chingnyu village of Mon district of Nagaland; and Havildar Pranay Kalita, 38, son of Hari Prasad Kalita from Ghatbar village of Barpeta district of Assam.

The injured personnel are Subedar Ngulkhotil Haokip, 54, Naik Sikandar Singh, Rifleman Anish Kumar, 27, Havildar Nitul Sarmah, 39, and Rifleman Sandeep Kumar, 35. Naik Sikandar Singh belongs to 13th Dogra Regiment while the others are personnel of 4th Assam Rifles.

Reports further said, following the ambush, police have launched an investigation into the incident after registering a case at Chakpikarong police station. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to take over the case shortly.

Remarkably, the elder brother of the slain AR personnel from Manipur Ratan Salam was also killed in an ambush at Ukhrul back in 2007 while on election duty. Salam Santosh, the brother of Ratan Salam, was in the CRPF.

Shun violence: CM

Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren said that there is no place for violence in a democratic country like India. He said this at a wreath laying ceremony organised in honour of the martyred soldiers at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport on July 31. Strongly condemning the incident, the Chief Minister asserted that the Government would not remain a silent spectator, and the perpetrators would be definitely hunted down.

Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren also appealed to the armed groups to shun hostilities and come out for a political solution.

Stating that the State Government would provide suitable assistance to the families of the martyred Central forces personnel belonging to Manipur, the Chief Minister said that the matter would be put before the State Cabinet for discussion.

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