Joining the war of words between the Congress and the BJP, ahead of the Assembly election, Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh on Saturday claimed that the BJP, UNC and the NSCN (IM) are one and the same though outwardly they may profess to be different entities.
Speaking at the reception function of a large number of people who have joined the Congress from other political parties at the Congress Bhawan at BT Road, the Chief Minister said that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had conveyed to the State Government that the NSCN (IM) is against the creation of Kangpokpi (previously Sadar Hills) district.
To this the State Government had made it clear that creation of district is the prerogative of the State Government and no outside force can interfere in the decision of the State Government, said the Chief Minister. Explaining the stand of the State Government, the Chief Minister said that the seven new districts were created for administrative convenience and not for any political gains.
He elaborated that the demand to create Sadar Hills district dates back to more than 40 years and there is no political motive in the recent decision of the State Government to create Kangpokpi district as it was done for administrative convenience.
To the charges that the new districts were created for electoral gains, the Chief Minister said that the decision was not announced earlier keeping in the mind the unwanted developments that may arise. It is to knowledge of the people the many obstacles that were put up against the move of the State Government to create new districts, said O Ibobi.
Taking digs at the BJP, the Chief Minister said that Central Ministers have been visiting Manipur regularly but other than laying foundation stones, they have done nothing for the welfare of the people. This is not what the Congress and the people want, said the Chief Minister and added that what is really needed is for the projects to be completed on time.
There is no need for laying the foundation stones of all the tunnels for the ongoing railway projects, said the Chief Minister and added that this is what all Union Ministers have been doing while visiting Manipur. Accusing the BJP of flouting protocol, Ibobi said that it is not in good taste to see Union Ministers on official visit making a beeline for the BJP office and to be invited to the dais when they are not on official visit in Imphal.
Claiming that not everything is fine in the home State (Gujarat) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, O Ibobi said that Manipur has emerged as the torch bearer in the health care sector and added that it is the State with the lowest infant mortality rate. This is something which other States are trying to follow, he claimed.
Frequent bandhs and blockades have hindered the numerous development projects taken up by the State Government in the hills and valley, said the Chief Minister but added that despite this, the Congress has managed to fulfil all the promises it has made to the people. AICC Manipur-in-charge, Dr CP Joshi who is on a visit to the State and attended the reception function, said that the people are still reeling under the impact of demonetisation. Despite the tall claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the fact stands that the people are still reeling under the impact of demonetisation, he claimed. No one can deny that the Congress has done a lot for the people and the State in the fifteen years it has been in power, added CP Joshi.