IMPHAL, Jan 15: As he has failed to open the National Highways connecting Manipur with other parts of the country or get the indefinite economic blockade lifted in spite of the large number of security forces sent by the Central Government, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi ought to step down, asserted Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Speaking to media persons at BJP Manipur Pradesh office at Nityaipat Chuthek here today, the Union Minister stated that the Central Government has been providing all possible assistance to the State Government including adequate strength of security forces.
There was some sort of compatibility between Ibobi’s politics and the economic blockade. Ibobi’s politics hinge on ‘divide and rule’, alleged the Union Minister.
Ibobi is responsible for polarising different communities and widening geographical divisions apart from doing harm to many other social aspects, Prakash Javadekar asserted.
Chief Minister O Ibobi had capitalised on his divisive politics twice but this time all the people are aware about his malicious politics, continued the Union HRD Minister.
On account of the indefinite economic blockade, people have been enduring extreme misery with most of the essential commodities not available sufficiently and their prices soaring.
At the same time, incidents of violence have been escalating in addition to posing hindrances to all aspects of life.
Keeping the issue of economic blockade for such a protracted period is a manifestation of the disastrous politics of Chief Minister O Ibobi and his party, Indian National Congress, Prakash Javadekar asserted.
If he (Ibobi) cannot resolve the issue of economic blockade by using security forces provided by the Central Government, he ought to step down from the post of Chief Minister. If he is not in a position to get the blockade lifted, he may seek President’s Rule. The election model code of conduct does not prevent a Chief Minister from stepping down, Javadekar stated.
Replying to a query, Prakash Javadekar maintained that the Central Government cannot interfere in law and order matters when there is a State Government for law and order is a State subject. Initiating a dialogue process with the UNC is something which should be done by the State Government.
Nonetheless, the Central Government made arrangement for a tripartite talk to resolve the issue of economic blockade at Delhi on November 15 last year but no State official came for the scheduled meeting.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Joint Secretary (North East) visited Manipur on November 23 and 24. Then the MHA Special Secretary made a direct assessment of the Manipur situation on December 14 and 15.
In addition to a letter sent by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to the Chief Minister on December 22, Union MoS (Home) went to Imphal and met Chief Minister O Ibobi, Prakash Javadekar told media persons.
Talking about Manipur State Assembly election, he informed that the party’s core committee would hold a meeting today and discuss the matter. This would be followed by another meeting of the party’s central election committee and Parliamentary Board on January 17.
All BJP members may submit nomination forms but the party’s tickets would be given on the basis of merit.
On being enquired about the Chief Ministerial candidate and whether there was any age bar for intending BJP candidates, the Union HRD Minister maintained that the matter would be clarified at the opportune time.
BJP would not form alliance with any other party. With the blessing of the people, BJP would create a new Manipur free from bandh, blockade and Congress party, Javadekar added.
BJP MP Prahlad Singh Patel, BJP Manipur Pradesh president Ksh Bhabananda and MLA Thongam Bishwajit were also present at the press meet.
Source: The Sangai Express