SPF, Opposition exchange pot shots on Census
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 15: Striking a somber tone, Chief Minister O Ibobi today asked the Opposition as well as the Treasury bench members to desist from mud slinging on issues concerning the interest of the people and the place.

The Chief Minister was reacting to a barrage of criticism launched by Opposition MLA M Nilachandra in connection with the 2001 Census report.

Moving a call attention motion in the morning session of the Assembly today, the Opposition MLA said that if only the Government had studied the 2001 Census report thoroughly the present census fiasco would not have materialized.

The action initiated now is too late, observed Nilachandra.

According to the faulty census report the Assembly seats may be reorganized and if this comes about then it would throw the State into total chaos, said the MLA and added that it would have a direct bearing on integrity, development and distribution of fund.

Squarely holding the SPF Government for the present situation, Nilachandra said that the Government did not deem it fit to check the census report thoroughly.

A Government which has goofed up on such a crucial matter has no moral right to continue in office, claimed the MLA.

Replying to the motion raised, Chief Minister O Ibobi said that it would not be in the fitness of things for the Opposition and the ruling Front to indulge in mud slinging on issues which concern the interest of the people.

Setting the record straight, Ibobi said that the process of recording the census started in 1997-98-99 and the report was published in 2001.He reminded the House that his Government came to power on March 7, 2002.Taking a dig at Nilachandra, the Chief Minister said blindly accusing the Government on baseless grounds will show the Opposition in bad light and added that charging that the Government has lost the right to rule will expose the frustration of the Opposition.

Baseless charges and accusation can never be justified on any ground, held the Chief Minister.

Admitting that the Government is a continuous process, the Chief Minister said efforts are being taken up to see if there are any errors in the census report.

As the Delimitation Commission has to work according to the census report, due discussion has been held with the Census authority, the Chief Minister informed the House and added that after due consultation with all the political parties, the task of reviewing the census report has been entrusted to the Government.

An Officers' Committee was formed to go into the details of the census report on July 9, said Ibobi and added that the report of the Committee is to be submitted within one month.

The Chief Minister further said that the present report is just a provisional report and can be rectified if needed.

He added that the report would be reviewed impartially and said that if it is found correct there is no ground to change it.

However any errors found would be duly corrected.

Going into the census report of 2001, Dr Nimaichand Luwang, who is also an associated member of the Delimitation Commission, said that in some blocks of the hill districts the increase in population has been recorded as 168 pc while in some cases the growth rate hardly touched 9 pc.

The same trend is also recorded in the valley area, said Dr Luwang who asked whether there are some places where no new births have taken place and some places where the birth rate is astoundingly high.

If the 2001 Census report is taken at face value then there is strong possibility that Senapati will see an increase of 3 ACs, Ukhrul one and Chandel one while Imphal East will lose one seat, Imphal West two seats, Thoubal one and Bishnupur one.

Stating that census report is not only about enumerating the population strength of a place, MPP MLA O Joy said that census has a direct impact on a lot of other points such as fund distribution.

He suggested that a member from the ruling bench may move a private member resolution Bill on the matter.