BJP mulls panel on territorial integrity

Read more below

  • Published 4.06.05

Imphal, June 4: The Manipur unit of the BJP has proposed the constitution of a co-ordinating committee to counter disruptive designs. The committee will comprise representatives of all political parties of the state and resist any attempt to compromise Manipur?s territorial integrity.

The BJP?s proposal came after allegations that some Naga ministers and MLAs had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister?s Office last month, supporting the integration of all Naga-inhabited areas under one administrative unit.

?As the threat to the territorial integrity of Manipur still exists, political parties should come together and form a co-ordinating committee to protect, preserve and maintain the state?s boundary. Territorial integrity is a very sensitive state issue and parties should rise above political and ethnic affiliations,? Thounaojam Chaoba Singh, former Union minister and president of the BJP state unit, said.

The ruling Secular Progressive Front (SPF) had condemned the alleged memorandum. Chaoba Singh said condemnation was not enough. ?Since the government has collective responsibility, Ibobi Singh and his council of ministers should resign on moral grounds.?

Ibobi Singh convened a meeting on Thursday to discuss the allegations. The meeting, attended by 39 of the 40 ruling party members, condemned the alleged memorandum and reaffirmed the government?s stand against the breaking up of Manipur. A copy of the resolution bearing the signatures of 39 members was sent to the Prime Minister the same day.

A statement issued after the meeting neither confirmed nor denied the involvement of any Naga minister or ruling member in submitting the memorandum. ?The Ibobi government condemned the Naga memorandum. It did not deny the alleged involvement of Naga ministers. This means the allegation is true, which is a very serious matter,? Chaoba Singh said.

BJP office-bearers and MLAs, including a Naga legislator, held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the alleged threat to the state?s territorial integrity. The meeting reaffirmed the BJP?s stand to protect the state?s territory and demanded the Ibobi Singh government?s resignation.

The BJP today sent copies of the resolutions to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, home minister Shivraj Patil, AICC president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee.

The Federal Party of Manipur (FPM), the largest opposition party, also expressed concern over the development. Former deputy chief minister and FPM president L. Chandramani Singh said the opposition parties would soon hold a meeting to discuss the matter.

The controversy has come at a time when the United Committee, Manipur, is preparing to commemorate the 2001 agitation against the extension of ceasefire between the NSCN (I-M) and the Centre beyond Nagaland.