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Patil arrives Imphal amidst boycott
Correspondent IMPHAL, MAR 10:
Published on 11 Mar. 2011 12:12 AM IST
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The President of India, Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, who arrived in Imphal Thursday afternoon from Nagaland for her two day visit in the state, was greeted by empty streets.
Due to the 40-hours general strike called by the Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF), almost all the streets in Imphal wore a deserted look. All shops, business establishments and private institutes remained closed on the first day of the strike that commenced from last midnight. It would continue till 4 pm of tomorrow.
The President arrived at Imphal airport from Dimapur by a special Indian airlines flight around 2 pm. Governor of Manipur Gurbachan Jagat, chief minister O. Ibobi Singh, ministers, MLAs, GOC D.S. Hooda of 57 Mountain Division and top officials of the Manipur government received her at the Imphal airport.
Before proceeding to Raj Bhavan where she would be staying during the visit, Patil inspected a guard of honour accorded by a contingent of women personnel of the Manipur police.
At the Raj Bhavan, she met with chairpersons of the Manipur State Commission for Women and Social Welfare Advisory Board and also had an audience with an ex-serviceman from Ukhrul district.
On the second day of her visit, the President will lay the foundation stone for the Information Technology park, inaugurate the State Data Centre (SDC) and launch the State Wide Area Network (SWAN), all in the IR park, Manipukhri followed by a public reception.
Meanwhile, the state’s budget session was cut-short from normal schedule when the House agreed with the chief minister’s proposal for early conclusion of the sitting so that members of the House could attend the reception of the President at Imphal airport.
The House members also suggested that the chief minister insist the President to visit the Assembly and deliver a speech.
Opposition member O. Joy observed that President’s visit during the budget was a rare occasion, and implied that the chief minister, who is the leader of the House should request her to deliver a speech in the House.
Stating Patil’s appearance in the Assembly would not only create history but would be very important for the state, he said.
Joy further observed that if the President made mention about the AFSPA and Centre’s stand in repealing the Act, Her visit would be a meaningful one.
The chief minister agreed with the suggestion and said that he would approach the matter in meeting with her later in the day. However, he pointed out the tour programme for the President’s visit was made by the President Secretariat.
On the other hand, normal life across the state was paralyzed on the first day of the 40-hour general strike called by the MPLF.
While long distance buses stayed off the road, almost all commercial vehicles suspended services for the day. No untoward incident was reported from any part of the state during the strike, police said.

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