| MPP members stage a demonstration in Imphal on Monday. Picture by UB Photos |
Imphal, Aug. 4: Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh has convened an all-party meet on Wednesday to discuss the growing public demand for implementation of inner-line permit (ILP) in Manipur.
Ibobi Singh yesterday sent letters to all the political parties in the state, national and regional, inviting at least two leaders of each party to the meeting, which will be held at his conference hall at 3pm.
The meet, to be presided by the chief minister, will fulfil his assurance on the floor of the House during the recently concluded budget session.
He had told the Assembly that an all-party meet was required to mount joint pressure on the Centre as two resolutions adopted by the Assembly in 2012 and 2013 did not evoke any response from the Centre. The assurance came in the wake of rising public anger over ILP.
At one point, the government had to shut down all educational institutions in Imphal West and Imphal East on July 25, 26 and 28 as his government was finding it difficult to contain students’ agitation in support of the ILP.
But despite the assurance of an all-party effort, public agitation has not died down with people holding sit-ins daily in the valley.
The meet is expected to take a resolution to send a political delegation to New Delhi to be headed by Ibobi Singh to urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider the ILP demand.
Manipur People’s Party president Nongmeikapam Sovakiran Singh said, “We will attend the meeting and question where the Ibobi Singh government stands on the issue. Our future response will depend on that.”
The BJP, which is most vocal in criticising the state government on ILP, had not decided on attending the meet till this afternoon.
“We are yet to take a decision on whether to attend the meeting or not. The Ibobi Singh government is not serious on the issue,” BJP general secretary M. Asnikumar Singh said.
The MPP today staged a sit-in in front of the party’s head office here in support of the ILP. After the sit-in, its members submitted a memorandum to governor Vinod Kumar Duggal, urging him to implement ILP in the state “to protect the rights of indigenous people of Manipur under the provisions enshrined in the Constitution”.
The memorandum said outsiders, including foreigners and migrants, account for one-third of the total population of Manipur, according to the 2011 census. If the ILP is not implemented, the future of the indigenous people is doomed, it added.