Cong backs call for House session

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Nov 8: Veteran politician and MPCC spokesman Okram Joy has asserted that the demand for holding a special session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly is a very legitimate one.
Speaking to media persons at Congress Bhavan here this afternoon, O Joy remarked that the contentious Naga peace process is still shrouded in obscurity.
Although it was claimed that a final agreement was reached between Government of India, NSCN-IM and NNPGs at a meeting held at New Delhi on October 31, but New Delhi came out an announcement at the next moment that the dialogue process would go on, he remarked.
After its bold declaration that the Naga accord would not affect the territorial integrity of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, the Government of India is now saying that stake holders of all the three States would be consulted, Joy pointed out.
All these while, the Framework Agreement signed between GoI and NSCN-IM on August 3, 2015 still remains a closely guarded secret.
Such inconsistency and contradictory statements have been only multiplying people’s anxiety and apprehensions, he said. To convene a special session of the State Assembly at such a crucial juncture is the right step and is also the need of the hour. It is also a common demand of political parties, CSOs and the public, asserted the veteran politician.
Even though the State Assembly had adopted similar resolutions nine times to protect the integrity of Manipur in the past, there is no harm in adopting another resolution to protect the integrity and administrative setup of the State at all costs, he said.     
He said that it is the State Assembly which represents the people of Manipur, not Congress, BJP or any other political party. Whatever decision adopted by the State Assembly is a collective decision of the people of Manipur.
The first and foremost responsibility of the 60 MLAs is to protect the State’s integrity and the sanctity of its territorial boundary, said the veteran politician.
It is a matter of grave concern that the BJP-led coalition Government headed by Chief Minister N Biren is not willing to convene any special Assembly session on the excuse that there is no agenda and the House had already adopted similar resolutions to protect the integrity of Manipur nine times earlier, Joy decried.
Urging the Government on behalf of MPCC to convene a special session of the State Assembly at the earliest, the MPCC spokesman said that the State Cabinet may first adopt a resolution to protect the integrity of Manipur before the same resolution is tabled and reaffirmed in the State Assembly.
In Parliamentary practice, there are three types of resolutions viz; Private Member Resolution, Statutory Resolution and Government Resolution. The first type of resolution is not binding while the last one is, Joy explained.
It was a commendable step that the same Government introduced a resolution on protecting the State’s integrity on July 23 last year in the State Assembly as a Government resolution and the same resolution was passed by the State Assembly, he remarked.
As per the norms of Parliamentary practice, Assembly session should be convened every six months and there is no harm in tabling a matter which was discussed six months back. The resolution tabled in the State Assembly as a Government resolution by the Biren Government is now more than one year ago, he pointed out.
Given the hidden agenda embedded in the Naga peace talks, the State Government’s unwillingness to convene a special Assembly session is highly questionable, Joy said.
Pointing out that NPF is a partner of the coalition Government, Joy said NPF in its constitution pledges to work for integration of Naga inhabited areas.
Although the NPF constitution does not exactly say that Manipur must be disintegrated, the underlying implication is nothing but disintegration of Manipur, he said.
Before the last State Assembly election, BJP openly declared that it would not go together with NPF but after the election BJP went in the opposite direction. It is highly questionable which agenda is binding the two political parties together, he added.