Congress talks tough, releases manifesto
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 01: Election manifesto of the indian National Congress for the 9th Manipur Legislative Assembly was released by Congress Working Committee member and Union Minister Oscar Fernandes at Congress Bhawan today.

Flanked by MPCC president Gaikhangam, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and other party leaders after the manifesto releasing function, Oscar Fernandes highlighting the achievements of the Congress-led SPF coalition in providing a stable Government, exuded confidence that Congress would return to power after the hustings.

Claiming that after the installation of UPA Government in the Centre the country�s economy has been witnessing a tremendous surge, the Union Minister observed that similar favourable situation is prevailing in Manipur not only in the improvement of financial situation but in the context of successful implementation of welfare programmes.

When section of the media referred to instances of Congress workers in the hill districts being detained apart from disturbances caused to election campaigning, the Congress leader said a detailed report on the issue would be submitted to the election Commission of India.

Moreover, round the clock patrolling of security personnel would be intensified to protect and ensure free movements of candidates and political workers, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister O ibobi claimed that the Congress-led coalition Government was able to scrap the Disturbed Area tag from seven Assembly Constituencies of Imphal Municipal area following the improvement in the law and order situation.

There would be no laxity on the part of the Congress party to strive for restoration of law and order in the whole State in order to remove Disturbed Area status from the entire State in case Congress retains power, the CM affirmed.

Pledging that Central Government would be impressed for constitutional safeguard of boundary of Manipur as well as of the entire North Eastern region�s territorial integrity, O Ibobi further maintained that maximum effort would be made to identify and check influx of outsiders to the State.

The Congress party�s election manifesto highlighted achievements of the SPF Government with emphasis on increase in the annual plan outlay, handing over of Kangla Fort to the people of manipur, upgrading Manipur University to a Central varsity, finalising plan for upgrading RIMS to the status of AIIMS, setting up of Minority and Women commissions, inclusion of Imphal among 63 Indian cities in the national urban development scheme etc.

The manifesto also listed several welfare programmes to be pursued and implemented if the Congress retains power in the State among which consist of insistence for hike in the fund allocation of Central sponsored schemes, assistance from the DONER Ministry and Non-lapsable Central Pool of Resources to expedite development programmes.

other main feature of the manifesto concerns stress on micro financing through banking institutions, providing income generation source by setting-up small scale industries and reviving defunct industrial units, impressing upon the Central Government on inevitability of revoking the MoU that banned fresh appointment and age relaxation for the unemployed youths who had crossed age bar during the job appointment ban period.

On upcoming developmental visions, the manifesto emphasised on speeding up the Jiribam-Toupul rail-line, double lanning of Imphal to Mao section of the NH-39, improvement of inter-district/village roads, completion of Loktak Downstream project and construction of micro hydel projects at suitable locations while there was no mention of the controversial Tipaimukh Multi-Purpose Project.

Political dialogue with UG groups, rehabilitation of surrendered cadres of armed outfits, persistence with police modernisation programme and enactment of Sixth Schedule in the Hill districts, if the need arise, are the other objectives of the Congress manifesto.

Moreover, it also laid emphasis on setting up law courts exclusively to solve cases involving women issues, strengthening lady police establishment, hike in job reservation for female candidates and framing of a youth policy within a year of Government formation.