Manipur CM Okram Ibobi rubbishes MHA report to Election Commission
Ministry of Home Affairs "wrongly" concluded that the prevailing situation was "not conducive" to conduct free-and-fair polls there, says Okram Ibobi
Amid the rumour "President Rule to be imposed in Manipur" has been doing the rounds across the state, Manipur Chief Minister met President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi to discuss the Ministry of Home Affairs' report to the Election Commission that termed the law-and-order situation in the state as "grave" and later rubbished the report.
After the meeting with President, Ibobi said, Ministry of Home Affairs "wrongly" concluded that the prevailing situation was "not conducive" to conduct free-and-fair polls there.
Ahead of Manipur Congress leader's meeting with President Mukherjee, Election Commission at around 12:30 pm had declared that Assembly election will be held in two phases - on March 4 and 8 - in Manipur.
The Manipur CM was accompanied by Congress' Manipur election in-charge Ramesh Chennithala and MP Thokchom Meinya at the meeting.
"I am told that there is a negative report sent by the MHA to the EC that the law-and-order situation in Manipur is not conducive to conduct a free-and-fair election. It is totally wrong and baseless," Ibobi told reporters.
The Chief Minister also said issues such as insurgency, blockades, strikes are not unique to Manipur but they affect the entire north-east and that even in 2012, the state Assembly polls were boycotted by hill and valley-based underground organisations including the PLA and the UNLF.
"The Congress in particular is not allowed to hold public meetings. But, ultimately the people support the party. They gave it a thumping majority in the last polls and even this time, there will not be any problem.We had suggested to the EC that just like earlier, the polls should be conducted in two phases. We are grateful to the commission for the announcement and hope that our party will win this time as well," the Congress leader said, according to a report in PTI.