Jun 18 holiday declaration was not a Cabinet decision: Debendra
Opp grills SPF on eco blockade

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 29: Warding off a barrage of questions from the Opposition on the economic blockade imposed by ANSAM since June 19 midnight, Works Minister Th Debendra who is the Chief Minister-in-charge in the absence of O Ibobi today informed the House that the decision to declare June 18 as a State holiday was not taken by the Cabinet but was announced by the Chief Minister in his own capacity.

Earlier, the Opposition rose as one to grill the Treasury bench on the steps it had taken up to resolve the impasse.

Raising a call attention motion during the morning session of the Assembly today, FPM MLAs, M Nilachandra and I Hemochandra questioned what steps the Government has taken up to escort the goods laden trucks stranded at Mao gate on Nagaland side.

Drawing the attention of the House to the matter at hand, M Nilachandra said that since the trucks are stranded at Mao, many perishable items have been lost.

Not only this, the drivers and their helpers too are facing a lot of inconveniences spending days and nights on the road side, he added.

Prices have sky rocketed and there is apprehension that the many essential commodities may not be available in the near future, added the MLA.

Pulling no punches Nilachandra questioned why the Government has not made any effort to resolve the issue by inviting the ANSAM members for a talk.

Nilachandra also questioned whether there was a Cabinet decision to declare June 18 as a State holiday and reminded the House that since the imposition of the economic blockade, tension has been running high.

Supporting the motion, BJP MLA M Bhorot said that since the Government has not taken up any steps to resolve the issue permanently, it should be held responsible for any ugly developments in the future.

Joining in FPM MLA L Ibomcha questioned whether the Chief Secretary and DGP of Manipur have been sent to meet their counterparts in Nagaland to ease the situation.

He also questioned why the Government has not sent a team of Naga Ministers and MLAs to talk things over with the agitating students.

Responding to the series of questions raised by the Opposition, Th Debendra assured the House that the Government is viewing the matter with the seriousness it deserves.

The Government has already sent feelers to the agitating students to meet and talk things over, Debendra clarified and added that the decision to declare June 18 as a State holiday was not taken by the Cabinet but was announced by the Chief Minister in his official capacity.

Debendra admitted that the situation could have been worse if there were not enough stock.

However since the stock cannot last forever, the Government is minutely studying the matter so that things do not go out of hands, he added.

Though there are certain constraints at the moment to escort the stranded vehicles, the DGP has been briefed to do the needful soon, Debendra informed the House.