Political leaders reflect on Statehood day Rues state of affairs in state

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IMPHAL, January 20: The stage is all set for the observation of the 41st statehood day of Manipur on January 21. A day ahead of the observation, IFP talked to several state political leaders asking for their views on the issue.

A MLA of the ruling Congress, Y. Erabot Singh told IFP, “Following the merger of Manipur which is also taken as forced annexation, Manipur became a part of the Indian Union since 1949 as a full-fledged state-union territory and later on as a State in 1972. ”

Saying that the geographical location of the state along with its demography aided by the sentiments of the people against the forced merger become the main factors of emerging insurgents, Erabot said that the promulgation of different acts and laws have ended in forfeiting the freedom of citizens even in a democratic form of government have become the hallmarks of Manipur post its statehood. “The issues of Inner Line Permit and territorial integrity are the outcome of administration in Manipur after statehood and only request and persuasion seem to be the method of working of present day political leaders,” he said. He also added that weightage is not given to the reformation of state administration in terms of land settlement laws and policy which is one of the main factors to integrate people in the state.

Opposition leader and AITC, legislative wing leader Dr I Ibohalbi Singh while expressing his happiness with the coming of the 41st anniversary of Manipur’s statehood said that everyone must be having the same feeling. However, he lamented that the dishonesty breeding today seem to have affected the state`s politics, economy, governance. He further appealed against killing, kidnapping and other disturbances and also added his wish for a better relation between the hills and the valley.

The Opposition leader also said that the ever increasing corruption and inability of humans to consider others as human is regrettable. The past has instances of unwanted incidents there is no assurances that the future will be any different, he said.

Hiyanglam A/c MLA Maibam Kunjo Singh (71) and a candidate of the first Manipur Assembly Segment 60 in 1972 said he was arrested by the police during the struggle for the demand of Manipur statehood and kept at the Pallel Jail. He said after 41 years of achieving statehood, there is no visible development and change in the state today. He lamented that even though only three months have been left before the end of the financial year, the government is yet to sanction any funds for development.

He continued that out of the Rs 60 lakh meant for the MLA Local Area Development fund, only Rs 30 lakh have been sanctioned which has resulted in taking up of only a few development works. He also added that even after 41 years of statehood, roads in his constituency are yet to be developed.

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