The blockade in Manipur was the handiwork of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, former Nagaland CM and Naga People’s Front (NPF) leader T R Zeliang said on Monday. Addressing an election meeting in Senapati in Manipur, Zeliang also said the lifting of the blockade depended on Singh. “The blockade was entirely Okram Ibobi Singh’s creation and it depends on him whether it could be lifted or whether it would continue,” he said. Zeliang was in Senapati district in Manipur to campaign for NPF candidates.
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“Ibobi Singh had created the new districts without consulting the stakeholders, knowing well that this would result in protests. But by doing so he was expecting the Valley people to back him and vote for his party. It now depends on him whether to revoke the government decision or to let it stand,” Zeliang, who is also chairman of Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) in which the NPF and BJP are partners, said.
Zeliang also accused the ruling Congress in Manipur of dividing people on communal lines with an eye on votes. He said problems that are being resolved through peaceful dialogue should not be opposed.
Nagaland CM Shurhozelie Liezietsu said the Meiteis and hill tribes of Manipur have been maintaining good neighbourly relations and would continue to be neighbours for all times to come. “The Meiteis and the hill tribes of Manipur have no other homeland except the ones they presently occupy, and that they have no option but to remain neighbours for generations to come,” Shurhozelie said.
He also alleged that Singh was raking up communal tensions with an eye on votes. “He is raking up communal tensions so that the Valley people back him during polls. He is more communal than his party.”
‘Make pact public’
Two days after PM Narendra Modi claimed that there was no threat to Manipur’s territorial integrity in the Framework Agreement signed by the Centre and NSCN(IM) in 2015, Congress leader Tarun Gogoi Monday asked the Centre to make contents of the agreement public.