Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday announced that the Centre will soon airlift fuel and cooking gas for the people who have been facing hard times under an economic blockade since November 1 last year.

The United Naga Council (UNC) has imposed an indefinite blockade in protest against the state government’s plan to create seven new districts which, it claims, will lead to usurpation of large tracts of “lands of the Nagas”.

“If the blockade cannot be ended in two days, the central government shall airlift fuel, LPG and other PDS items,” said Javadekar, who is on an electioneering tour in Manipur.

Addressing an election meeting here of BJP candidate Okram Joy, Javadekar said: “During the last 15 years of the Congress rule, even potable water cannot be supplied to the people. The unique all-women market in Imphal city is in a pathetic condition. The state government is responsible for the present crisis.”

He also addressed several election meetings of BJP candidates in Imphal.

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, however, claimed that the present impasse was the result of an alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah).

“Let us see who wins — the people or the BJP-NSCN(IM) nexus. The BJP is angry over the creation of the seven new districts which is for administrative convenience,” the Chief Minister said while addressing an election meeting here.

Speaking at an election meeting of Congress candidate R.K. Imo, Chief Minister Ibobi said: “It is incomprehensible why the BJP is angry over the creation of the new districts. This party and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) are against it. We have waited over three months in the hope that good sense will prevail. Now we will see who wins the face-off.”

Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei, who also spoke at the meeting, said no one supports the “anti-people blockade” and that people should unite against it.

Civil society organisations have also underlined the need to join hands to face the blockade observing that “the creation of the new districts is a long-standing demand of the people”.

First Published | 12 February 2017 9:24 PM
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