23 MLAs make fresh move to maintain territorial integrity of Manipur

Representational photo. (IANS Photo)

Representational photo. (IANS Photo)

Imphal, September 12 (IANS): In a fresh move, 23 MLAs of the BJP-led government in Manipur have signed a resolution expressing their pledge to protect the territorial integrity of the state. They will also go to Delhi soon to urge the Centre to maintain the existing territorial boundary of the ethnic violence ravaged state.

The resolution, accessed by IANS, says: “It is unanimously resolved by all the undersigned members of the legislative Assembly that we would stand for the territorial integrity of the state of Manipur and that no form of separate administration would be agreed to by us.

"It has also been resolved that all the members would proceed to Delhi soon to persuade the central leadership to bring a solution to the current crisis at the earliest.”

The 23 MLAs -- 18 from BJP and remaining five from alliance partners -- include Assembly Speaker Thokchom Satyabrata Singh, ministers Y. Khemchand and Bishwajit Singh.

Ten tribal MLAs, including seven belonging to the BJP, and various tribal organisations, including the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF) and Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM). have been demanding a separate administration (equivalent to a separate state) for the tribals since May 12.

Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and many organisations, including the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), an umbrella body of the Meitei community, have been strongly opposing the demand.

On Monday night, thousands of youths under the banner of 'Youths of Manipur' marched towards the Chief Minister’s official bungalow while some of the youth leaders later met Singh.

The youths urged the CM to take legal action against the 10 tribals MLAs who have been demanding separate administration for the tribals in Manipur.

The youths also demanded to convene a special Assembly session to discuss the issue and to introduce the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to identify the foreign nationals.

The youth leaders urged all ministers, MLAs and politicians to disclose their position about the territorial integrity of Manipur. Due to this move, the 23 legislators have taken a fresh initiative to oppose the demand for division of Manipur.

Earlier also, more than 40 Manipur MLAs had met the Central leaders and urged them to maintain the territorial integrity of the state.