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Boycott call angers former MP

- Charenamei faces flak for contesting Lok Sabha poll against NPF

Imphal, June 29: Former Lok Sabha MP and Naga leader Mani Charenamei reacted strongly to a call given by the United Naga Council (UNC) and the Naga tribes’ Presidential Council to socially boycott him for contesting the Lok Sabha elections against the Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidate Soso Lorho.

The UNC announced the Presidential Council’s decision taken on May 28 pronouncing “social boycott” of Charenamei in view of his “anti-Naga activities”. The boycott will continue till it is reviewed.

The Presidential Council is formed by presidents of 16 Naga tribes.

The resolution also urged Naga tribe councils to “strictly observe” the boycott.

Charenamei caused widespread confusion among the Naga people and created avenues for questioning the mandate of the Nagas by going ahead to contest the recent Lok Sabha election, the resolution said.

The UNC fully backed Soso Lorho — the NPF candidate in the Outer Manipur constituency . The UNC and the Presidential Council blamed Charenamei’s candidature for the defeat of the NPF candidate.

The UNC also accused Charenamei of questioning the legitimacy of the demand made by the UNC for an alternative arrangement for administration of the Nagas living in Manipur outside the purview of Manipur government.

Charenamei was a member of the Committee for Alternative Arrangement and he had taken part in the initial stages of the talks between the UNC, Manipur government and the Centre.

Charenamei, a former Manipur government employee, was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 2004 as an Independent . He again contested on a ticket of the People’s Democratic Alliance in 2009 Lok Sabha election, but lost to the Congress.

“Now, coming to the wild accusation of the UNC that my contest in the 16th Lok Sabha elections had caused widespread confusion among people and terming it as anti-Naga activities are completely misleading and false,” Charenamei said in his reaction.

The resolution contained “misleading” information and “malicious” aforethought to ruin his political career, he said.

“I also wanted to make it very clear to you (UNC) and your associates that I was never informed formally or officially by any group or person not to contest the 16th Lok Sabha elections after I had announced my intention to contest as an Independent candidate.”

Charenamei said the social boycott call announced only against him while sparing other prominent Naga candidates by the UNC was a “biased decision” and is aimed at tarnishing his image.