Newmai News Network
Imphal | October 13
Under pressure from his workers and supporters, Congress MLA and former minister Francis Ngajokpa representing Tadubi constituency, Senapati district resigned today from the ruling party and state legislative assembly as well.
After putting in his papers, Fracis Ngajokpa told media, “Wisdom of the people and decision of the people in democracy are supreme.”
Ngajokpa’s workers were reportedly peeved at the Congress party for allegedly showing an act of spurning against the ‘Framework Agreement’ signed between the NSCN-IM and the Centre and also turning its back on the issue of nine tribal protesters who were killed during protest following passing of three ILP related bills in the state assembly last year.
Two senior Congress leaders and MLAs—Yumkham Erabot Singh and Nongthongbam Biren Singh—resigned from the party and also from the state legislative assembly recently. So, Ngajokpa was the third MLA quitting the Congress government headed by Okram Ibobi Singh as well as the party in less than a month.
Veteran Congress leader Yumkham Erabot representing Wangkhei constituency joined the Manipur BJP after quitting Congress in the face of increasing pressure from supporters.
The development comes ahead of the assembly election in Manipur due in few months’ time.
Francis Ngajokpa said he wished to join a national political party and showed disinterest in regional parties. His workers have also decided that he can join any political party of his choice.
He personally went to the Assembly Secretariat and Congress Bhavan to put in his papers today.
Many Congress MLAs in the hill districts of Manipur have come under immense pressure from their supporters in their respective constituency to resign from the MLAship as well from the Congress party and join any other party if they are to contest again in the forthcoming Manipur Legislative Assembly polls due in few months’ time.
This development has come following the passing of the “three anti-tribal bills” last year in the Manipur Legislative Assembly and the subsequent announcement of the Outer Manipur Tribals’ Forum (OMTF) and Joint Action Committee against Anti Tribal Bills (JAC-AATB) of their stand to boycott all tribal MLAs and the lone MP from Manipur who “failed to hear the cries of their people”. The OMTF and JAC-AATB had announced the banning of Congress party in all tribal areas in Manipur recently.
OMTF and JAC-AATB have reiterated the boycott of all the tribal MLAs and the lone MP who “failed” to hear the cries of their people. “These betrayers of the tribal peoples are banned from having any activity or movement in the tribal areas of Manipur, and that neither the forum nor the JAC shall be responsible for any untoward incident if they fail to comply with the ban,” they said.
The July 18 joint meeting of OMTF and JAC-AATB resolved that any individual or organization aiding, cooperating or standing with these individuals will be branded as “anti-tribal” and shall be at their own risk.
They said the Congress party was solely responsible for drafting, introducing and passing of the three “anti-tribal bills” in the state assembly on August 30 last, the joint meeting also resolved to boycott the Congress party in all tribal areas of Manipur from July 18 last.
Any political party, whether national or regional, which works against the interest of the tribal peoples shall face the same fate as that of the Congress party, the OMTF and JAC-AATB resolved.
According to them, individuals, organisations and political parties betraying the “indigenous” peoples shall have no place in the tribal areas in “present Manipur.”
“The struggle for self-determination of the indigenous peoples in present Manipur that began with the spontaneous reaction that erupted after the passing of the three ‘anti-tribal bills’ by the Congress-led Manipur government has already crossed one year, it said. Yet, even after a year of unflinching agitation, both the Central and state governments have refused to take any genuine step to address the grievances of the tribal community,” they maintained.
“The dominant valley-dwelling community of present Manipur in connivance with the communal Manipur government has been gearing up for inclusion of the Meitei community in the scheduled tribe list as a continuation of their policies to annex tribal lands and grab the meager privileges bestowed on the tribal peoples,” they alleged.
As a part to the ongoing fight for tribal rights and identity, the OMTF and JAC have submitted a joint memorandum to the Prime Minister recently to demand oppose the demand for the Scheduled Tribe status by the valley-dwelling Meitei community and shall continue to resist such ‘sinister design’ in the days to come.
The OMTF and JAC have been saying that they are committed to safeguard tribal ancestral lands, tribal rights and identity and shall leave no stone unturned in their ongoing effort to ensure an inclusive and promising future for all the tribal communities and an administrative setup separate from the ambit of the present Manipur government.