Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on Wednesday dismissed the Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ report that had reportedly stated that the law-and-order situation in his state was “not conducive” to conduct the Assembly elections, during his meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee.
The report, which was submitted to the Election Commission, had said the situation in the state was “grave”, PTI reported. The Election Commission, before Singh’s meeting with Mukherjee, announced that the state Assembly election will be held in two phases in the state – on March 4 and 8. While welcoming the commission’s decision, Singh said, ”I am told that there is a negative report sent by the Home Ministry to the Election Commission which states that the law-and-order situation in Manipur is not conducive to conduct a free-and-fair election. It is totally wrong and baseless.”
The Congress chief minister said that problems of insurgency, blockades and strikes are commonplace across the North-East region. He said, “We had suggested to the EC that just like earlier, the polls should be conducted in two phases. We are grateful to the commission for the announcement and hope that our party [Congress] will win this time as well.”
In November, the United Naga Council had imposed an economic blockade on the two national highways that connect the state with other states, and left Manipur reeling. The group was protesting against the formation of seven new districts.