Regular-article-logo Friday, 29 September 2023

Pitch for RS pie in Manipur

The people of eight Assembly constituencies in the valley of Manipur have demanded that the state's lone Rajya Sabha seat be given to them.

Khelen Thokchom Imphal Published 29.03.17, 12:00 AM

Imphal, March 28: The people of eight Assembly constituencies in the valley of Manipur have demanded that the state's lone Rajya Sabha seat be given to them.

The people of Heirok, Khangabok, Wangjing Tentha, Wabagai, Kakching, Sugnu, Hiyanglam and Jiribam Assembly constituencies, which fall in the valley districts of Thoubal, Kakching and Jiribam, feel wronged as they cannot contest any of the state's two Lok Sabha seats - Inner Manipur or Outer Manipur.

They cannot contest the Inner Manipur parliamentary seat as they are part of the Outer Manipur seat and they cannot contest the Outer seat as it is reserved for a Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidate while they are mostly non-Scheduled Tribe people - Meiteis and Muslims.

Joint Non-Government Voluntary Organisation, a citizens' conglomerate from the eight Assembly segments, today sent a representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to nominate a deserving person from the eight constituencies as the Rajya Sabha MP.

Manipur's Rajya Sabha seat fell vacant after MP Haji Abdul Salam passed away earlier this month. Salam, who represented Wabagai Assembly constituency a number of times, was nominated as the Rajya Sabha MP by the previous Congress government, led by Okram Ibobi Singh, following popular demand.

The organisation's memorandum, signed by its president Ksh. Biren Singh and general secretary N. Bheigyachandra Singh, said the eight valley constituencies had been denied the right to candidature in parliamentary elections since 1952.

"Thoubal District MP Demand Committee submitted a memorandum to the Delimitation Commission highlighting our problems. The Manipur Assembly also passed a resolution to recommend inclusion of the eight constituencies in the Inner Manipur constituency. But because of some reasons, the delimitation process has been stalled till 2026," the memorandum said.

The organisation had also submitted a similar representation to chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh on Saturday.

The new BJP-led government is under pressure from the eight constituencies on the issue. "We are considering the matter. We will discuss it with central BJP leaders, including Manipur in-charge Ram Madhav, leaders of the state unit and the chief minister before taking a decision," a BJP leader said.

Talking to reporters here today, adviser of the organisation, P. Somarendra Singh, said if the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is seriously concerned with the injustice done to the people of the eight constituencies, it should give the seat to them.

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