Imphal, June 27: The ruling Congress today flaunted its achievements in a one-day state-level Congress party conference at Imphal Polo Ground in the heart of Imphal city keeping an eye on the forthcoming Assembly elections.
“Manipur is marching towards peace, progress and prosperity and a shining example of the effort is to be part and parcel of the progress being made by the country,” Congress Working Committee member and in-charge of Manipur, Luizinho Faleiro, told a nearly 10,000-strong crowd that braved incessant rain.
Congress leaders showered praise on chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh for taking the state on the path of progress.
Former Goa chief minister Faleiro, PCC president Gaikhangam and Ibobi Singh were the speakers at the programme under the theme “The Congress view on present situation.” They took pains to woo the people for support in the next Assembly elections likely to be held in February.
The party also released a booklet listing achievements of the decade-long rule of the Congress-led Secular Progressive Front ministry, whose other constituent is the CPI.
In an attempt to reach out to the people residing in and around here through the television, the Congress used a local cable TV network to air the programme live.
A majority of the inhabitants, however, could not watch the programme as there was a statewide power shut down almost the entire day because of a “technical snag”.
“I wanted to attend the programme but was prevented by the rains. I also could not watch it on television as my locality remained powerless the whole day,” I. Arun Singh, a resident of Imphal West, said.
Neither Ibobi Singh nor Gaikhangam mentioned the power cut but the chief minister said his government was making “serious efforts” to improve the power situation by taking up power projects like Loktak downstream project.
The Ibobi Singh government’s development projects, however, did not keep everyone happy.
As the programme was in progress, a rights group called National Fact Finding Team and headed by National Integration Council member John Dayal, objected to the manner in which Ibobi Singh government was trying to acquire 1.5 acres of residential area of Naga river colony in Imphal city for the upgrade of the state-run Hotel Imphal into a five-star one for leasing out to private parties.
After making enquiries about the process and objections by the land owners, Dayal told reporters that the existing land was enough for a five star hotel and the government should not disrupt livelihood, security and community life of the people.
Dayal has been involved in campaigns for land rights of the poor in other states, including Nandigram in West Bengal, in the past. He is also the general secretary of the All India Christian Council.
He said his team would raise the matter before the National Minorities Commission.
The Imphal bench of Gauhati High Court today asked the state government to submit an affidavit, listing the progress made in rehabilitating 500 families affected by the Khuga dam project.
The directive came after the Mapithel Dam Affected Villages’ Organisation filed a writ petition seeking a directive to the government to stop construction of the dam until the rehabilitation and resettlement of the villagers was reviewed the comprehensively.