IMPHAL, April 4: The Local Area Development Fund of a Member of Parliament is lesser than an MLA’s so it is hard to fulfil people’s demands. This was stated by Thangso Baite, the incumbent MP of the outer parliamentary seat and Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha polls, in an interaction programme “Meet the Candidates 16th Lok Sabha Election 2014”, organised by the Editors Guild of Manipur under the sponsorship of CEO Manipur held at Classic Hotel, on Friday with all the outer constituency candidates.
In the interaction programme, all the ten candidates of outer constituency seat: Prof Gangmumei Kame, Thangso Baite, Kim Gangte, Chungkhokai Doungel, Khamchinpao Zou, Soso Lorho, Lamminlien Gangte alias Len Gangte, Mani Charnamei, Lamlalmoi Gangte and Amarson Samkhil; were invited but five of them didn’t turn up.
The interaction was moderated by Kangla Pao Editor Pukhrambam Ibochouba and every candidate was given five minutes to express their opinions.
Thangso Baite said that an MLA or MP found it difficult to solve social, economic, and educational and health issues during their first time in the Assembly or Parliament.
He retaliated to the allegations of the NPF and CPI (ML) which accused the Congress of non-development in the state. For any development, integrity is essential, if someone is interested in the development of another state, there can’t be any development in our state.
Clarifying on the allegations against MPs that they didn’t take any initiative on racism against people from the NE in Delhi recently, he said that he agreed with the fact that NE people who are facially different from the people of mainland India faced discrimination. NE parliamentary forum has formed a committee with a Retd IAS officer to find lasting solutions to the problems of the people from the North-east in mainland India.
He said that the Local Area Development fund of an MP which was just 2 crore increased to 5 crore. But we have 28 AC segments and each assembly segment received only Rs 7 or 8 lakhs. After the increase, only 15 lakhs can be earmarked for each AC segment. What development can be taken up with this amount? In comparison, an MLA of an assembly constituency receives 60 lakhs per year. So, the fund of an MP is comparatively less. The development fund goes to destitute children and other social issues of the state.
The Naga People Front’s candidate Soso Lorho said that the problems of Manipur are not raised in parliament till date. The need of the hour is to improve the political condition, solve the UGs problem and bringing social harmony.
He clarified that NPF doesn’t cater to a single community or work for the interest of another state.
Lamlalmoi Gangte said that veteran politicians are needed to be replaced by the energetic youths. MPs elected from the state are responsible for every issue and problem of Manipur. Why they remain mute in parliament instead of raising a single state issue in the last 5 years.
In the interaction, the candidates were unanimous in their opinions about removing AFSPA and implementation of Inner line permit system in state as their main agenda after being elected. Another interactive programme is being organised on April 10 for Inner constituency candidates.