Imphal, June 5: A delegation from the Manipur unit of the BJP led by its president, Ksh. Bhabananda Singh, today met Union home minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi and requested him to help get presidential assent to the three bills passed by the state Assembly last year.
The BJP delegation's meeting with the home minister comes ahead of a meeting of an all-party political delegation from Manipur, led by chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, on the bills issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the home minister. After intense pressure from the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System, a public conglomerate, which is spearheading the agitation in the valley, representatives of political parties went to Delhi on Friday.
The chief minister who also left with the delegtaion, however, halted in Calcutta.
The public conglomerate has been putting pressure on the state government to take up the issue of Protection of Manipur People Bill, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill and Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, which are awaiting President Pranab Mukherjee's assent, with the Centre. "Our team apprised the home minister of the need to enact the legislations to safeguard the interest of the local people. We explained that the bills are not anti-India or anti-tribal," R.K. Sivachandra Singh, the Manipur BJP spokesperson and a member of the delegation, told The Telegraph.
The delegation also clarified to the home minister that there was consensus among all the political parties as no one had objected when the bills were passed.
"We impressed upon the home minister on the need for presidential assent to the bills and also highlighted the threat posed to the valley people from unchecked population influx," Sivachandra Singh said.
When the delegation urged him to meet the Ibobi Singh-led delegation, the home minister said he was ready to meet the chief minister, but clarified that no appointment had been sought so far for the meeting.
Rajnath reportedly assured the BJP delegation that he would discuss the bill issue when he meets the all-party delegation. When the team met the home minister, Ibobi Singh was reportedly yet to reach Delhi.
The BJP delegation yesterday met minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju on the issue. The home minister said meeting the Prime Minister would be delayed as he was on a foreign tour.
In Shillong, the North East Students' Organisation (Neso) has also reiterated its demand for promulgation of the provisions of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, popularly known as the inner line permit, across the region.
The organisation restated the demand in a memorandum submitted to Modi through Meghalaya governor V. Shanmuganathan yesterday here. Neso chairman Samuel B. Jyrwa said in the memorandum, "While awaiting the Centre to come out with a comprehensive policy to combat the problem of influx, the initiatives and policies taken up by the affected people and states like Meghalaya, Manipur (Manipur Accord), who are facing immense pressure from the illegal immigrants, should be noted and encouraged.
Jyrwa said Meghalaya and Manipur should also be provided with logistical and financial support for implementing the initiatives and policies.