Imphal, December 3 (PTI): Prime Minister Manmohon Singh on Saturday said that there was no plan for a ‘supra state’ for Nagas in the North-east and assured to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur. The PM also appealed to militants to ensure peace in Manipur for speeding up development work. “Manipur needs peace and tranquility for all round development. Different communities have been living here for centuries and there should not be any misunderstanding among them,” Dr. Singh told a public meeting here.
On recent media reports that the Centre was planning a ’supra state’ for Nagas in the Northeast, he said “there is no such proposal. Integrity of Manipur will be protected and the state is an important part of the union.” There was applause from the crowd when he said that the protection of the territorial issue in Manipur was a very ‘sensitive one’. Dr. Singh said “there is no issue which cannot be solved in a democratic set up like in our country.”
Referring to the crippling economic blockades on two national highways the state had faced, the Prime Minister said “There were no winners. The only losers were the common people.” Pointing out that the economic blockades had severely affected the economy of the state he questioned whether it brought any benefit. “No such thing has happened.” He urged the people to live in peace and harmony as the Centre was prepared to do anything for the all round development of the state.
The UPA government at the Centre wanted Manipur’s rapid development for which it was closely working with the state government, Dr. Singh said. Dr. Singh also said he was happy that projects in Manipur were being implemented properly and mentioned the names of the newly-constructed buildings which he and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi inaugurated during the day.
He also expressed happiness over the conduct of elections to the autonomous district councils in the hill districts after a gap of about 20 years saying it would give power to local bodies. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said the people had suffered during the recent economic blockades and wanted all youths to work for normalcy in the state. Stating that the central government was working closely with the people of Manipur, Ms. Gandhi said “New Delhi may be far away from Imphal, but UPA government under Prime Minister Singh is sensitive.”
She said all aspirations could be accommodated through dialogue. Ms. Gandhi thanked the state government for bringing some militant organisations, including Kuki militants to the negotiating table and said all problems could be solved through dialogue. Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh sought more central help which the central leaders assured.
Nagas and Kukis are all Manipuris: Ibobi
Newmai News Network
Imphal | December 3
Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh in his welcome address at the public meeting said the State government is always ready to initiate talks with NSCN-IM, Kuki insurgent groups or valley based underground groups.
He elaborately stated that the Nagas and the Kukis are all Manipuris and the State is not ruled by military as considered by a few sections of the society, saying the State government is always open for dialogue process with any groups. The Chief Minister also strongly insisted that the Government is not ready to sacrifice an inch of the land of Manipur and said there should not be confusion regarding the much talked about “Supra-State Body.”
Ibobi also requested Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi to grant a package of Rs.600 crore for the next Five Year Plan and assured the Central leaders that his government would never disappoint the Centre.
Union minister of DoNER, Paban Singh Ghatawar, Northeast-in-charge of Congress party Luizinho Faleiro, Union minister of Law and Justice Salman Khurshid, who came to the State one day before the visit of the Prime minister and UPA Chairperson also attended the public meeting today.
The high profile Central leaders left Imphal for Delhi at 4:10 pm.