Leimakhong hosts CM-ANSAM talk
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 30: Breaking the ice, Chief Minister O Ibobi today met representatives of the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur at the Army guest house at Leimakhong and held talks with the agitating student body for about 30 minutes.

Adopting a tactically significant political move, the Chief Minister took a detour towards Leimakhong while returning to Imphal after inaugurating an FCS godown at Saitu Gamphajol in the morning and met the ANSAM leaders at the Army guest house at Leimakhong.

Though details of the talk are not available presently, it is widely believed that any decision that the Chief Minister takes in the future will be done so after due consultation with members of all communities residing in Manipur.

Some members of the SPF Council of Ministers and top ranking Government officials including the Chief Secretary were present at the talk.

A Minister who was present at the talk informed The Sangai Express that though the talk was held for only 30 minutes, it was very positive.

During the talk, the Chief Minister reminded the ANSAM leaders that he had already expressed his regret over the declaration of June 18 as State holiday in the Assembly, if that had hurt the sentiments of any section of the people.

As June 18 has already come and gone, it is impossible to revoke the decision now, reasoned the Chief Minister and assured that any decision to be taken later for this date will be arrived at after due consultation with people of different communities.

The Chief Minister also welcomed the decision of ANSAM to suspend the economic blockade on the two National Highways.

The ANSAM delegates also questioned the reason why the proposed talk on August 18 at New Delhi was cancelled, said the Minister.

To this the Chief Minister replied that since the matter is a State issue, it would be better to hold the talk inside Manipur.

For the next round of talk, the Chief Minister suggested that a definite date be set, said the Minister.

After the talk the Chief Minister left for New Delhi to attend the meeting on National Integration convened by the Prime Minister.

The ANSAM team comprising its president Paul Langhu and general secretary Robert T Maram and three others were escorted from Senapati to Leimakhong by Education Minister Francis Ngajokpa.

Spokeman Ngachonmi Chamroy was not present at the meeting.

After the Chief Minister left Leimakhong, the SPF Ministers continued with the talk with the ANSAM delegates.

The SPF Ministers who were present at the meeting included Health Minister L Nandakumar, Agriculture Minister Ph Parijat, Industries Minister N Mangi, RD Minister Allauddin Khan, FCS Minister Ngamthang Haokip and Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board, Dr Chaltonlien Amo.

ANSAM launhed the indefinite economic blockade from June 19 midnight to protest the decision of the State Govt to declare June 18 as State holiday and State Integrity day.

The student body had earlier stated that any talk with the Chief Minister should be held at one of the four Naga dominated district of Chandel, Senapati, Tamenglong and Ukhrul, which was not reciprocated by the Government.