BJP team meets Prime Minister, demands President’s Rule [The Sangai Express]

New Delhi, Oct 21: A BJP delegation today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convey its concern over the situation in Manipur caused by the nearly three-month economic blockade and demanded imposition of President’s Rule in the state.

The BJP delegation, comprising of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley and party president Nitin Gadkari, met Singh along with some party leaders from Manipur. They infor-med him that the situation in the state was grave.

“While apprising the Prime Minister about the si-tuation in Manipur, which is not only sensitive but also dangerous, we made some demands. Prices of essential commodities have sky-rocketed, petrol and diesel being sold at arbitrary prices, potatoes and vegetable prices are so high that even the rich cannot afford them,” Swaraj told reporters after the meeting.

She maintained that it is beyond comprehension how the government in Manipur has stayed a mute spectator while the situation has continued to deteriorate for such a long time.

“So we have demanded that first of all, dismiss the government there and impose President’s Rule in the state,” Swaraj said.

Manipur, where elections are due in a few months, has been facing an economic blockade due to protests. As a result, essential commodities are not rea- ching the people.

“Secondly, we suggested that under your leader- ship you should take an all-party delegation to Manipur and sit and talk to the people there. They need a human touch,” she said.

BJP also demanded that Rs 3 lakh compensation be given to each family and sending of essential supplies to the state through an “alternate route”. It said black marketing should be checked and strict action taken against those indulging in it.

“The Prime Minister said he is aware of the situation and will think about sending an all-party delegation. He will talk to the Home Mi-nistry and then inform us. He liked our suggestion. He also said he is in constant touch with Manipur but no solution is in sight at the moment. He was receptive to our suggestions and the talks were cordial,” Swaraj said.

NNN adds: In the meeting, Sushma Swaraj urged the Prime Minister to convey the demand to leaders of all political parties to visit Manipur to take stock of the situation in the state, said Manipur Pradesh BJP Media Co-ordinator, L Basanta Sharma.

Notably, Manipur BJP unit president Sh Shantikumar Sharma, vice president, Prof S Tiken and State secretary Janglet Haokip left Imphal for New Delhi to meet Prime Minister yesterday.

In a memorandum submitted to Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday, BJP Manipur Pradesh stated that the people of Manipur are in a deep crisis.

The state Government has miserably failed in tackling this grave situation. The Government of the day is practically absent. The state legislature seems to have become completely dysfunctional, the State BJP representation alleged.

Corruption has become rampant and people cannot have any of their problems solved without paying a bribe. Recently, by creating a false picture about normalcy in the state, Chief Minister O Ibobi has added insult to the injury, it said.

The state of Manipur is facing a peculiar situation due to the Sadar Hills District Demand Committee’s (SHDDC) agitation by way of blockade of national highways 39 and 37 since August 1. Human rights of the citizens are being violated practically every day. The supply of essential commodities, petroleum products and life-saving drugs is severely affected and black marketers are having a field day.

Approximately, after 20 days of total bandh called by SHDDC, the United Naga council (UNC) started counter blockade in protest against the demand for creation of Sadar Hills district.

As a consequence, the people of Manipur, both in the hills as well as in the valleys are caught in the crossfire and are suffering severely.

Given the ground realities, prices of essential commodities and petroleum products and kerosene oil before and after the blockade— prices of LPG has gone up to Rs 1800-2000 per cylinder and for petrol upto Rs 120 per litre.

The central Government seems to have taken a spectator’s role and no efforts seem to be underway for bringing normalcy in the state. “We wonder what exactly the government is waiting for.”

In view of this situation, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Manipur had submitted a memorandum with about 20,000 signatures from different parts of the state to the President of India through governor of Manipur demanding immediate intervention in the state.

The demands mentioned in the memorandum submitted to Manmohan Singh stated that the Manipur Government should be dismissed forthwith and the state be brought under President’s Rule till such time as fresh elections are conducted.

The BJP memorandum also said the Union Government should make every attempt to bring amicable solution regarding Sadar Hills issue at the earliest. Effective steps should be taken urgently to put a full stop on rampant black marketing, it added.

The memo further said availability of essential commodities as well as petroleum products in sufficient quantity should be ensured all over the state.

The BJP  memorandum then demanded that special subsidy/suffering subsidy of Rs 30,000 per month should be given to each family in Manipur to compensate the losses during the economic blockade so far.

A long-term comprehensive policy for ending insurgency in this state should be framed forthwith while taking all the political parties and the people at large in confidence, it concluded.

Source: The Sangai Express

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