Manipur: Order on Hill Areas Committe withheld, Congress members withdraw

Imphal, September 04 2021: The order issued on September 1 by Manipur Legislative Assembly secretariat relating to addition of eight representatives from different constituencies as members of Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of Manipur Legislative Assembly has been kept in abeyance and another order issued in this regard on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader O Ibobi has announced that party’s MLAs inducted into HAC have withdrawn their membership from the Committee.

The order issued by Manipur Legislative Secretariat on Saturday said the order issued on September 1 by the secretariat has been kept in abeyance until further order based on applications filed by the eight MLAs on September 3 and 4 .

Eight MLAs namely Lourembam Rameshwar (Keirao), Khumukcham Joykisan (Thangmeiband), Karam Shyam (Langthabal), Nameirakpam Loken Singh (Nambol), Laishram Radhakishore (Oinam), Y Antas Khan (Lilong), Keisham Meghachandra (Wanghem) and Thokchom Radheshyam (Heirok) filed their applications relating to appointment as members of HAC.

On the other hand, announcing during a press conference held at Congress Bhawan on Saturday that Congress MLAs inducted into the HAC have withdrawn from the same, Ibobi said Manipur Legislative Assembly secretariat issued a never-seen order on September 1 adding eight new members to the existing 20-member HAC.

Many people particularly politicians were surprised by the order as it was new and lack knowledge on it.

CLP discussed the order for two consecutive days on Thursday and Friday but remained silent awaiting comments from legal experts and party’s high command.

Being a responsible political party, Congress party must spell out its decision on the matter when people ask for the same and there is no point of the party taking political mileage on the matter.

However, the party decided that the order adding eight new members to HAC was not right and it may create misunderstanding among different communities, Ibobi said and strongly called for withdrawing the order.

On the reason why Congress members joined the committee, he said that Congress MLAs simply joined the committee after the speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly said that representatives of valley assembly constituencies could be members of HAC if the constituencies have sizeable tribal population and with the expectation that the same could get constitutional approval.

Congress members signed up for the membership of HAC, believing that they could work in the interest of tribals settling in their respective constituencies, Ibobi said.

According to the former CM, it would be better for legal experts to decide on membership of HAC if valley constituencies have tribal people and as such the party decided to withdraw its MLAs from the extended HAC membership in the interest of the state and the decision was based on instruction of party’s high command.

He then appealed to state assembly to withdraw the order.

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