Manipur Election 2017: Ibobi questions Modi's remarks in Imphal over economic blockade

Imphal: Strongly reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark “Manipur will be free from economic blockade if BJP comes to power”, Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh questioned the prime minister's statements and wondering if the economic blockade would continue for years if the saffron party fails to to come to power in the state.

"I didn't expect that the responsible prime minister Modi will state 'If BJP doesn't come back to power in Manipur, economic blockade will continue'. Such remark from him shows that BJP, UNC, NSCN (IM) are working hand in glove," Ibobi told reporters in a press conference held at Congress Bhavan, Imphal.

On Saturday, Modi during an election rally held in Imphal promised to end the protracted economic blockade in Manipur if the BJP comes to power in the state, apart from assuring that the saffron party will do in 15 months what Congress couldn't do in 15 years. He also launched a scathing attack on Ibobi, accusing him of “running the most corrupt government” and “taking 10 per cent commission”.

On the contentious framework agreement, Ibobi said that Modi has failed to divulge the details of the framework agreement signed between the Centre and NSCN (IM) on 3 August, 2015 despite the state government and the people urging to reveal the agreement for a long time.

Okram Ibobi Singh. Reuters

Okram Ibobi Singh. Reuters

Manipur people cannot rely on the verbal assurance of Modi till the details of the framework agreement are disclosed. Concealing the details of the agreement for more than 18 months indicates the insincerity on the part of BJP government about the protection of Manipur integrity, he asserted.

Ibobi questioned, “Why are the details of the framework agreement kept in dark if it contains no point to in fringe Manipur interest?"

He said BJP can never wrest power from Congress by concealing the contents of the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM, and by using the militant outfit as the 'cat’s paw'.

"As long as the people of Manipur stand united and put their faith in Congress party, New Delhi can never alter the territorial boundary of Manipur at their whim. The future of Manipur should be decided by her people, not by those individuals who come from Delhi or Assam. No external forces would be allowed to interfere in the internal affairs of Manipur," he said.

“The economically starving state of Manipur was once enjoying the benefits of special category status as well as industrial policy of 30 percent subsidy in North-East during UPA’s regime. When NDA came to power in 2014, they withdrew all these packages for North-East. This is NDA's Act East Policy,” Ibobi said.

Ridiculing frequent visit of Union ministers in Manipur, he said that more than 90 Union ministers have visited the development starving state. "Those Union ministers came here with no development projects. Congress party and Manipur people would appreciate them had they visited the state with an intention to develop the tiny state," Ibobi said while questioning the purpose of the ministers’ visit sans development projects.

Blaming the BJP for politicising sports university, he alleged that the Centre has been delaying construction of sports varsity till now and have failed to table the sports university bill in the parliament.

He said that the state government had already allotted Yaithibi Loukol covering an area of 336 acres of land against the 220 acres for construction of the said varsity. However, the site for construction was shifted to Koutruk following objection from the sports ministry expressing that Yaithibi Loukol was a low lying area and would not be conducive for construction of the sports university. State government again allotted 300 acres of land at Koutruk within two days. However, Centre is delaying construction, he said.

Rebutting the claims of corruption, he said that political parties including BJP have been labeling charges of corruption against Congress all the time, however they have never been able to show any evidence of corruption.

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Updated Date: Feb 25, 2017 21:22:19 IST

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