The on-going blockade in Manipur was the handiwork of state chief minister and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh, former Nagaland chief minister and Naga People’s Front (NPF) leader TR Zeliang said on Monday. Addressing an election meeting in Senapati in Manipur, Zeliang also said it depended on Ibobi Singh whether the blockade could be lifted or let to continue.
“The blockade was entirely Okram Ibobi Singh’s creation and it depends on him whether it could be lifted or whether it would continue,” he said. Zeliang was in Senapati district in Manipur to campaign for the NPF candidates who are contesting in the Manipur assembly election. “Ibobi Singh had created the new districts without consulting the stakeholders knowing well that this would result in protests and blockades. But by doing so he was expecting the Valley people to back him and vote for his party. It now depends on him whether to revoke the government decision or to let it stand,” Zeliang, who is also chairman of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) in which the NPF and BJP are partners, said.
Zeliang also accused the ruling Congress party in Manipur of dividing the people on communal lines with an eye on votes. “Dividing the people on communal lines and appealing to a section of the people for political gains is not advisable,” he said. Lamenting that the Naga political issue was yet to be resolved even after nearly 20 years of signing of a ceasefire, Zeliang said there were “some political elements who do not want the problem to be solved because they think that once the Naga problem is solved, their political careers would come to an end.” He said that problems that are being resolved through peaceful dialogue should not be opposed by anyone. “Sooner than later the Naga political problem shall be solved amicably without hurting the sentiments and emotions of any other communities,” the former Nagaland chief minister said.
Nagaland chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu on the other hand said the Meiteis and the hill tribes of Manipur have been maintaining good neighbourly relations since time immemorial and would continue to be neighbours for all times to come. “The Meiteis and the hill tribes of Manipur have no other homeland except the ones they presently occupy, and that they have no option but to remain neighbours for generations to come,” Shurhozelie said. “As long as this planet exists, we shall remain neighbours and so we should learn how to live in peace and harmony as good neighbours,” the Nagaland chief minister who is also president of the NPF, said.
“Meiteis are more advanced people in all spheres of life and we expect them to play the role of the elder brother by initiating measures to ensure continuity of living together as good neighbours,” Shurhozelie said. Shurhozelie also alleged that Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh was raking up communal tensions in the state with an eye on votes. “He is raking up communal tensions so that the Valley people back him during elections. He is more communal than his political party,” the NPF leader said.
Source courtesy: The Indian Express