Dr Meinya opposes Union Budget, apprises House of State’s many concerns

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IMPHAL, March 17: Manipur Inner Parliamentary Constituency MP Dr Th Meinya today opposed the Union Budget 2016-17 during today’s session of the Parliament and said the budget is a great disappointment for the nation.

According to a statement issued by the PS of the MP, Dr Meinya while raising the opposition said “The allocation to various Ministries has been minimal against the backdrop of huge promises made by PM, Union Ministers amounting to tens of thousands of crores. This Budget is a testimony to all this.”

At the sametime, highlighting the several issues bogging the State at present, Dr Meinya had also urged upon the Union government to take all possible steps within the framework of the country’s Constitution for a political solution of the age-old problem of insurgency in Manipur and also a generous special economic package for all round development of “this erstwhile princely state of Manipur.”

He highlighted in his speech about Manipur being an independent kingdom till it lost its independence to the British in 1891.

He said Manipur remained as a princely State even after losing its independence to British.

He added with the lapse of British suzerainty following the adoption of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, Manipur regained its sovereign independence and during this transition period the Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 was passed.

“In early 1948 the first election was held in Manipur on the basis of adult franchise” he told the House.

He further highlighted that the Maharaja was called to Shillong and made to sign the Manipur Merger Agreement in 1949 and on adoption of the Constitution of India on 26 January 1950, Manipur became a part C State and then a Chief Commissioner State, then the Territorial Council in 1957; then the Territorial Legislative Assembly in 1963; and Union Territory under the Union Territories Act, 1963. Manipur became a full-fledged State on 21 January 1972 by the North-Eastern (Reorganization) Act, 1971.

He said “We know that till Manipur attained statehood, the people did have little say whatsoever. But in 1972, when Manipur attained full-fledged statehood, all that Manipur had before its merger into the Union of India could have been restored to Manipur by the Union Government”, according to the statement.

He said these include among others – the protection of territorial Integrity of the state (including International boundary), the regulatory system of entry into and exit from Manipur by outsiders (abolished in 1950), the Tribal status for all the indigenous people of the state, the re-deeming of Rs. 500 tax/tribute for Kabaw Valley by the Burmese Government under Treaty of Yandaboo. Unfortunately, these things did not happen. Even the merger agreement had not been implemented at all and has been completely forgotten. Because of this, Manipur is now facing a huge demographic challenge, he said, according to the statement.

The MP had also said that Manipur has been facing a serious insurgent movement from around the beginning of 60s.

He further opined that the issue requires a political solution; however, instead, the Government of India promulgated Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA).

This AFSPA is really draconian and a black law, he said further reminding that he has been always urging the Government of India for the immediate repeal of AFSPA, but of no avail till date.

According to the statement, the MP had also said that he has moved a constitutional amendment Bill twice to insert an extra Art 371CC: that ‘Art. 3 of the Constitution of India shall not apply in respect of the state of Manipur’, but till now this Bill is yet to get the space for consideration.

Regarding the three bills passed by the State Assembly last year, he said the bills are waiting for the assent from the President of India.

He said these are good Bills and will help protecting the indigenous people of Manipur for all time to come. “I hope, very soon the President of India will give his assent”, he said, according to the statement.

He further informed the House “We are all for a peaceful settlement of vexed Naga issues. Unfortunately in 2001, because of the three words ‘beyond territorial limits’ in the Indo-NSCN(IM) cease fire agreement, there was a huge upsurge in the state of Manipur killing 18 innocent people and burning down the State Assembly building and many other government offices in 2002. That was during NDA regime.

Last year again on August 3, a framework agreement was signed between Government of India and NSCN(IM). What are there in the framework, it appears, nobody knows. Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh Governments are demanding the details of the framework agreement.”

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