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NPP Crisis Continues, Thangminlien Alleges Sangma Trying to Own NPP

Claims and counter claims between National People’s Party (NPP) Manipur President Thangminlien Kipgen and NPP National President Conrad Sangma continue to have a fallout within the party.

Even though Conrad Sangma had expelled Kipgen from the party, Kipgen is discharging duties, pointing to a crisis within the party, which is being denied by NPP office bearers appointed by Sangma.

Reports say the NPP state unit expelled Deputy Chief Minister and NPP legislator Yumnam Joykumar from the party on September 16 for six years.

Kipgen, in a press release issued on September 16, accused Sangma of planning a coup d’état to designate his late father PA Sangma as the founder of NPP. Kipgen has alleged that Sangma is now trying to own Manipur’s NPP, which was founded in the year 1989 by (Late) K Brajamohan Dev Sharma and his associates.

Some sources also added that well known Manipur politician (Late) Nongthombam Ibomcha aka Tera Laimu of Patsoi among others also played a key role in founding the NPP in Manipur.

Reports say that Kipgen’s allegations come as a reaction to Conrad Sangma’s statement on September 13 where he clarifies that NPP, Manipur was founded in the year 1989 with K Brajamohan Dev Sharma as founder President, Thangkholet Kipgen as founder Vice-President and L Shital as founder General Secretary.

The party was de-recognised by the Election Commission of India after failing to fulfill minimum requirements in 2012. The Commission in May 2017 again recognised NPP as a state party.

Kipgen said PA Sangma, who was a NCP leader at that time, wanted to join the party and placed a request for his enrolment into the party. “Accordingly, all the NCP MLAs of Meghalaya and party organisation leaders/workers under his leadership were merged to NPP during the month of August, 2012 at Shillong, Meghalaya.

Further, his request to lead the party and expand the party throughout the length and breadth of the country as a president was accepted and he was elected national president on September 15, 2012 with Ch Ajang Khongsai as national general secretary cum president, Manipur State Unit though the party had not fulfilled the required criteria to become a national party.”

“The Modus Operandi behind the removal of the elected president and some of the state executive members is crystal clear that the NPP, Manipur is now trying to be owned by Sangma by putting his father (Late) Purno Agitok Sangma as the founder of NPP by unscrupulous means,” Kipgen said.

K Leishiyo New Chairman of HAC

MLA K Leishiyo of Phungyar Assembly Constituency elected on Naga People’s Front (NPF) ticket, a partner of the ruling coalition government led by BJP under Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, has been elected for the constitutional post of Chairman of Hill Areas Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly on September 16, reports say.

It may be mentioned that the post became vacant since the BJP MLA T Thangzalam Haokip who held the post had resigned from the party and his MLA seat on June 18 before the Rajya Sabha election.

47th foundation day of AMWJU observed

The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) observed its 47th foundation day at Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul on September 16 with the unveiling of the memorial pillar on which the names of the founding members of AMWJU and journalists who are no more are inscribed, reports say.

Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand and Education Minister Thokchom Radheshyam attended the observation function as the chief guest and guest of honour respectively.

300 Private Hills Schools suspend teaching

The Hill Districts Private Schools’ Association (HiDiPSAM) has suspended all modes of teaching, any school-related activities in hill districts of Manipur from September 17 to September 21, according to reports.

According to a statement issued by president of HiDiPSAM, Richard L Haokip the association is compelled to take up the agitation as the education department has failed to review the orders after repeated requests and appeals.

It may be mentioned that the commissioner of the education department issued an order on June 20, setting a bar for all the schools and aided schools in the state on collection of tuition fee and payment of salary to teachers.

The order said schools with enrolment less than 200 students and those with enrolments from 200 to 700 are asked to waive students’ tuition fee but pay 50 per cent salaries to teaching and non-teaching staff. For schools having enrollments over 700, the department order not only waive students’ tuition fee but pay 100 per cent salaries to teaching and non-teaching staff. It is learnt that around 300 private schools in hill districts are affiliated to HiDiPSAM.

HC Declares Parliamentary Secretaries Unconstitutional

The High Court of Manipur has declared on September 17 that the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012 is unconstitutional and as such the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Repealing Act, 2018 is also invalid and unconstitutional.  The Chief Justice Manipur High Court Ramalingam Sudhakar passed the order, a report in the Sangai Express said.

The report said the writ petition, W.P. (C) No. 317 of 2018 was filed before the High Court of Manipur by two Congress MLAs, Surjakumar Okram of Khangabok Assembly Constituency and DD Thaisii of Karong Assembly Constituency.

The Congress has challenged the appointment of  Leishangthem Sushindro Meitei aka Yaima, MLA, Khurai Assembly Constituency; Nahakpam Indrajit, MLA, Kshetrigao Assembly Constituency; Lourembam Rameshwor Meetei, MLA, Keirao Assembly Constituency; Thokchom Satyabrata, MLA, Yaiskul Assembly Constituency; Heikham Dingo, MLA, Sekmai Assemby Constituency; Dr. Sapam Ranjan, MLA, Konthoujam Assembly Constituency; Soibam Subhaschandra, MLA, Naoriya Pakhanglakpa Assembly Constituency; Konthoujam Robindro, MLA, Mayang Imphal Assembly Constituency; K. Leishiyo, MLA Phungyar Assembly Constituency; Khashim Vashum, MLA, Chingai Assembly Constituency; Awangbow Newmai, MLA, Tamei Assembly Constituency; and Ashab Uddin, MLA, Jiribam Assembly Constituency as Parliamentary Secretaries as illegal and unconstitutional as the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012 became unconstitutional.

It may be mentioned that on August 4, 2012, the Government of Manipur enacted the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012 (Manipur Act No. 10 of 2012), enabling the Chief Minister to appoint Members of Manipur Legislative Assembly as Parliamentary Secretary with the status and rank of a Minister of a State. The Parliamentary Secretary will perform his duties and function as may be specified in the Official Gazette by the Chief Minister. Certain procedures have been laid down in the said act for this purpose.

However, the Supreme Court had on July 26 in 2017 passed a verdict maintaining that the appointment of parliamentary secretaries by state governments is unconstitutional. Despite the apex court’s judgement, the 12 MLAs continued to receive pay and allowances from the state government and five legislators continued to hold an office of profit as parliamentary secretary within the meaning of Article 191 (1) (a) of the Constitution.

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