Election

ECI statement on payments to banned militant groups shocking: Jairam Ramesh

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Saturday reiterated that not paying government salaries but making payments to banned militant groups by the BJP state government in Manipur is in complete violation of the ECI moral code of conduct, and it murdered elections in 11 seats of the Manipur Legislative Assembly 2022.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 5 Mar 2022, 1:27 pm

Senior Congress MP Jairam Ramesh
Senior Congress MP Jairam Ramesh

Jairam Ramesh, member of Parliament and AICC observer, on Saturday expressed shocked at the Election Commission of India's statement on the issue of large payments allegedly paid to banned militant groups by the Manipur government, saying it murdered elections in 11 seats of the state Legislative Assembly.

"Shockingly ECI held large payments to banned militant groups made on 1.1.22 & 1.3.22 by Manipur Govt do not violate Model Code of Conduct.They do & I’m petitioning Supreme Court. Payments were suddenly released during poll period after long gap. It murdered elections in 11 seats!"

Continuing to attack the BJP government in a series of tweets, Jairam Ramesh asserted that not paying government salaries but making payments to banned militant groups by the BJP state government in Manipur is in complete violation of the ECI moral code of conduct.

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"Govt salaries not being paid but banned militant groups are getting payments under the BJP state govt in Manipur. This is shocking and it has not happened anywhere else in the country," the AICC observer tweeted.

Speaking to mediapersons at MPCC office in Imphal on March 3, Ramesh said: "In a shocking and flagrant violation of the Election Commission model code of conduct, the BJP-led Manipur government released Rs 15,70,32,000 to banned militant groups under SoO on January 1 and another Rs 92,65,950 on March 1".

Reliable sources said that the payment was released by the Union Home Ministry and made by the state government, he said, adding, "This is in complete violation of the code of conduct is nothing more than bribery and corruption".

On Friday, Manipur Chief Election Officer Rajesh Agrawal said the sanctioning of payments by the government to Kuki insurgent groups under Suspension of Operation (SoO) does not violate the Model Code of conduct (MCC).

The Congress party on Thursday alleged that the state government released Rs 15,70,32,000 to banned militant groups under SoO on January 1 and another Rs 92,65,950 on March 1, violating the model code of conduct.

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The CEO office said it received clarification from the Central Home and Finance departments that an amount of Rs 15.703 crore was released as a "backlog monthly stipend" for SoO groups under KNO and UPF for the months of October 2020 to September 202l.

A sum of Rs 6,000 per cadre per month for approved strength of 1122 cadres of KNO and 1059 cadres of UPF was released as a part of the regular ongoing programme since 2008, said the CEO’s statement.

Quoting the department concerned, the CEO office said that a sanctioned amount of Rs 1.02 crore was for payment of financial benefits to surrenderees as per Revised Scheme for surrender cum rehabilitation of militants in the Northeast states and the same is not related to SoO groups.

“Since the beneficiaries of the above scheme were already identified and approved before the announcement of the election and enforcement of the model code of conduct, there is no violation of the model code of conduct,” the CEO, Manipur said.

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ECIBJP governmentJairam RameshManipur pollspayments to militants

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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