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CM Pulls A Rabbit Out Of The Hat With ‘Good Sign’ On Plebiscite, Ibobi Hums A Different Tune On Plebiscite

A meeting to take the message of plebiscite all over the place (file). Image Credit: Sangai Photo.

IMPHAL, Mar 16: Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, who is also in charge of Home, has described the proposal of UNLF for holding a plebiscite to resolve the Indo-Manipur conflict as a good sign in the State Assembly today.

Taking part in the discussion on passing the Budget Estimates, 2011-12, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh observed that for resolving the present armed conflict in Manipur, it is essential to start political talks. Since peace and development can come about after resolution of the issue through talks, the proposal of UNLF for holding plebiscite is a good sign.

However, keeping all the weapons of the UG group in the custody of UN and involvement of a third party in holding the plebiscite is a serious matter. So, it is very difficult to yes. Still, there has to be a beginning and the proposal for plebiscite is a good sign, the Chief Minister opined.

Stating that the ongoing peace talks between NSCN (IM) and Government of India is welcome; the Chief Minister further said that pressures are being exerted on the Government of India to work out a model which will be a permanent solution that would restore peace in the North East region through the ongoing peace talks.

In connection with Suspension of Operation (SoO), the Chief Minister informed the House that the Joint Monitoring Group has strictly warned all the signatories UG groups against violating the ground rules. The case over the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3 to 4 crores from a bank in Churachandpur has been resolved after the Joint Monitoring Group warned that the monthly remuneration would be stopped if the involved cadres were not handed over to the police or the Army.

If there is any similar complaint over violation of ground rules in future, the matter would be taken up with the Joint Monitoring Group for necessary action, the Chief Minister assured.

On resource mobilization, the Chief Minister said that there has been an increase of 60 percent in the resources of the State after Value Added Tax came into force. The need for check post and deployment of security at Hengbung in Senapati district has been addressed and similar check posts have been made operational at Pallel and Jiribam. Collection of taxes to the tune of Rs 300 crores from private power consumers is pending. As for recovering the outstanding due from defaulting Government Departments, steps have been taken up for deducting the amount from their respective plan allocation if the Departments concerned fail to clear the due by March 31.

Moreover, the Cabinet has taken a decision to increase the collection of taxes from Motor Vehicles at the rate of Rs 20 crores annually, the Chief Minister informed the House, adding that though there would not be any significant increase in tax in case of buses, steps are on to impose more taxes on luxury and high end cars.

Participating in the discussion, Opposition leader Radhabinod Koijam observed that the proposal for holding plebiscite should be regarded as a mooring toward democracy in due consideration of the need for ushering in peace and harmony through resolution of the existing armed conflict, which is political in nature.

MLA Morung Makunga pointed out that the proposal for plebiscite had been placed long ago and demanded to know what is holding back the State Government from taking up the matter with the Government of India for consultation to see whether it is acceptable or not.

He also pointed out that Naga peace talks has been going on for more than 10 years and it is high time to bring about a solution.

Furthermore, MLA Makunga, while lauding signing of Suspension of Operation (SoO), lamented that despite enforcement of SoO, Kuki UG groups are respecting the ground rules.

Abduction on ransom demand still continues. The key of a bull dozer has been taken away on the ground of not paying Rs 5 lakh and Rs 20 is being imposed on every cement bag taken to Chandel, the MLA complained.

MLA O Joy and Dr Ng Bijoy of MPP also participated in the discussion.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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