IMPHAL Nov 12 : Many amongst the enthusiastic crowd at the Kangla ground today to attend the public meeting were left dismayed when UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi failed to touch on any of the hot current issues in the state in her speech.
Aside from announcing a sanction of Rs 72 crore project to build another three market buildings, the chairperson did not announced anything substantial and maintained a casual tone in her speech.
The public meeting was attended by top VIPs of the state and a three tier security check was established at the major entrances to the Kangla ground.
In an effort by the state to make the public meeting a success, newly recruited security personnel undergoing training at Pangei among others were reportedly ordered to attend and Congress workers of various constituencies made up the majority of the gathering today as each Congress MLA had to sponsor at least a thousand heads on a need basis in apprehension the UPA chairson may be left addressing an empty stand on account of the general strike called by the 17 civil organizations boycotting Sonia Gandhi’s visit today.
After the arrival of Sonia Gandhi at the meeting ground, she inaugurated the Tribal Market, Muslim Girls Hostel by unveiling the foundation stones and further laid another two foundation stones for the INA memorial project and Indira Gandhi national Tribal University campus respectively.
At the outset of the public meeting ,MPCC president Gaikhangam gave the welcome address and afterwards Sonia Gandhi was presented with gifts by the women representatives of Ima Markets.
Chief Minister O Ibobi in his speech stated the need for common economic growth of the state with the rest of the nation. “ Economic blockades , general strikes have become a part of our life in the state , even I am not given enough time to meet the union ministers and address the State’s problems properly, and not to mind my insistence ,whatever I have done is in the interest of development for the state because I believe that India will be developed when Manipur is developed”,Ibobi said.
Sonia Gandhi in her public address candidly replied to Ibobi’s statement saying that the PM and herself is openly available to the Chief Minister’s suggestions and it is due to this fact that Manipur has received the modest support which have never been given to the state before.
Voicing her commitment for the development of the state , she said, “We are firmly committed to the development of Manipur and confident that development will accelerate, inclusive of that development which must reach every section of the Manipuri society. But, to achieve the full potential of development , for peace to happen, a peaceful Manipur is essential and violence has never provided a real solution , dialogue is the only way viable. I am aware of the hardships faced by Manipur in recent times and I respect your sentiments. That is why I am saying that we must us all work together to bring about peace and development in Manipur”.
She further stated that the newly inaugurated infrastructure will benefit the public immensely and empower the minority section of the society.
After the public meeting , Sonia Gandhi left for Tulihal airport via helicopter from Kangla Helipad.
Talking to IFP , Arambam Deni , a lawer who attended the meeting said , “ I feel kind of let down , Sonia Gandhi is a powerful authority and she could have promised some effective measures to ensure proper distribution of essential items including fuel. She could have said something about AFSPA and Sharmila also. We came in the hope that she would announce something significant to relive us from our sorry state of affairs and curb state misgovernance”.