Manipur blockade: Congress fears President’s Rule, Rajnath rules out possibility
Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and other Congress legislators have rushed to Delhi to “thwart any attempt by the Centre to indirectly rule” the poll-bound northeastern state.india Updated: Jan 05, 2017 15:46 IST
Apprehensive of President’s rule being imposed in Manipur due to the prevailing law and order situation, chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and other Congress legislators have rushed to Delhi to “thwart any attempt by the Centre to indirectly rule” the poll-bound northeastern state.
Though political circles were abuzz that Manipur will be placed under President’s rule in view of the nearly two-month-long economic blockade, Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday ruled out any such possibility.
“We have asked and written to the Manipur chief minister that the blockade should be removed. The Centre is not in favour of jumping to the option of imposing President’s Rule in any situation,” said the home minister.
Speculation however, grew stronger after Manipur governor Najma Heptulla met Rajnath and minister of state (independent charge) for ministry of development of development of North-East region Jitendra Singh, earlier in the day.
There are two views in the BJP on the issue. While one section wants immediate imposition of President’s rule, the other is against the move arguing that it will hurt the BJP’s chances in the coming elections. Manipur will go to polls in February-March along with Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand.
But the Congress is sensing victory after the CM delivered a “masterstroke” by creating seven new districts which are being vehemently opposed by the Nagas. With this decision, Ibobi Singh has not only tried to woo the majority Meitei community but also pacified the Kukis who have been demanding a separate district of Sadar Hills for years.
Meiteis constitute about 75% of the total population and control over 40 of the 60 seats in the state assembly.
For its part, the Centre has sent strongly-worded missives to the CM asking immediate lifting of economic blockade enforced by the United Naga Council.