Northeast

No commitment from Ibobi on ST demand

There is a need for unanimous acceptance by all communities on ST demand for Meetei community in Manipur, says former CM and CLP leader O Ibobi

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 18 Jan 2023, 5:44 pm

(PHOTO: IFP)
(PHOTO: IFP)

Former Manipur chief minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Okram Ibobi on Tuesday said that the Congress party was not certain yet on the demand for the inclusion of Meetei community in the ST category before knowing the sentiments of all the communities settled in Manipur.

“I will definitely support the demand if it becomes a larger interest of the state. However, I cannot give full assurance of support if the demand is going to create a bigger issue,” the former CM said.

Ibobi was speaking to the media after a team of Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Manipur (STDCM) thronged his official residence at Babupara, Imphal and submitted a memorandum seeking his support in the demand for the inclusion of Meetei/Meitei community in the ST category.

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He admitted that the demand is not new and the then Congress government had even failed to fulfil it considering the need of unanimous acceptance by all communities.

The Congress has no jurisdiction if the demand is being passed by the state cabinet, he said. However, if it is tabled in the Assembly, the Congress party will consider it as a constructive opposition and will not blindly support it, said the CLP leader.

The party will also discuss the matter with the high commands if it is tabled in the Assembly, he said, adding, “By saying this, we are not going to just go under control of the high command. If it is anonymously accepted by all, we will fully support it without any external influences”.

The STDCM also submitted a similar memorandum to Khangbok MLA, O Surjakumar, who is also the son of the CLP leader.

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The memorandum highlighted that the indigenous Meetei tribe of Manipur is currently without any constitutional safeguard to protect their distinctive indigenous identity in their ancestral land and if this present situation is allowed to continue, the community will ultimately be reduced to a minority and become refugees in their ancestral land.

Inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei in the ST list would definitely help in creating a cohesive, peaceful and harmonious society in Manipur based on social ethnic equality and equal respect for all indigenous communities of the state in future, it mentioned.

The STDCM had also submitted a representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 4, 2019 and to Union Home minister Amit Shah on December 27, 2020, besides submitting memorandums to various valley-based MLAs.

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Tags:

ibobimanipur congressst statusstdcmclpmeetei st demand

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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