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NPF launch hits Manipur roadblock
Correspondent KOHIMA/IMPHAL, MAY 26 (NPN):
Published on 27 May. 2011 12:47 AM IST
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Plans for expansion of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Manipur with the proposed launch by Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio and NPF Working President Dr Shürhozelie at Senapati has come up against a road block with the Manipur cabinet having decided to advise the Nagaland chief minister and his team against visiting Senapati on May 28.
It was learnt that the Manipur cabinet has faxed the message to the state chief minister through the state cabinet secretary, advising the state chief minister Neiphiu Rio to either not attend or even postpone the scheduled launch of the NPF Manipur unit at Senapati.
Nagaland Home Minister Imkong L.Imchen Thursday confirmed the receipt of the fax to this correspondent.
Mr Imkong Imchen was however determined that the NPF was not going to go by the advice of the Manipur cabinet and that chief minister Neiphiu Rio was firm that he and NPF functionaries were going to attend the scheduled launch of the NPF Manipur state unit.
“It is a party affair and nobody can stop any political party from launching their party anywhere in the country” Imkong shot back. He went on to cite the example of the INC and BJP which have their respective headquarters in New Delhi but are spread across the country.
Imkong sought the views and opinions from the Nagas in Manipur and the United Naga Council (UNC) regarding the advice of the Manipur state cabinet to the chief minister of Nagaland.
On the other hand, there are apprehensions that the simmering tension between the two states could even lead to a serious law and order situation if both sides did not resolve the issue.
This was seen in the light of how the fragile law and order situation took the form of a conflict between the two communities- Nagas and Meities- during the May 2010 incidents at Mao gate. It was feared there could be a situation if the Manipur government resorted to any force to prevent the chief minister of Nagaland from visiting Senapati and the latter equally determined to visit Senapati to launch the NPF Manipur unit.
Manipur seek PM,
HM intervention
Against the backdrop of the decision to launch the Naga People’s Front Manipur unit in Senapati, an emergency meeting of the Manipur SPF cabinet was convened Thursday where it was decided to seek intervention of the Prime Minister and Union home minister in deferring Nagaland chief minister, Neiphiu Rio’s visit to Senapati on May 28.
The cabinet meeting was followed by an all-party meeting.
The cabinet meeting chaired by Manipur chief minister, O Ibobi Singh discussed the pros and cons of the law and order situation of the state, particularly in Senapati district where the launch of the NPF Manipur unit was scheduled.
Members of the cabinet pointed out that the proposed visit of Rio to launch NPF Manipur unit, coincided with the preparations for hosting the third round of tripartite talks with the United Naga Council (UNC). The cabinet expressed apprehension that the visit by Nagaland chief minister and NPF entourage would have an adverse affect resulting in deterioration of law and order of in the state.
According to an official source quoting the minutes of the cabinet meeting, it was decided to entrust Manipur chief minister O.Ibobi to seek the interventions of the Prime Minister and home minister to advise the Nagaland chief minister to defer his proposed visit to Senapati considering the fragile law and order situation in the state.
The cabinet also directed Manipur chief secretary to contact OSD to Nagaland chief minister to relay the decision of the SPF government cabinet for necessary action. The chief secretary was also asked to contact the PMO and Union home minister’s office on the developing law and order situation in the state.
The cabinet further agreed to meet again on Friday at 9.30 a.m.
Mention may be made, that the BJP Manipur unit had earlier cautioned against the proposed visit of the Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio if there was any hidden agenda behind the proposed launching of Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Manipur.
“We welcome the opening of its (NPF) unit in Manipur as a political party, but if it is to be opened with a hidden agenda of disintegrating Manipur, we would not remain silent,” BJP vice president Prof Tikendrajit cautioned.
Briefing reporters here Thursday, Tikendrajit stressed on the need for checking the activities of the NPF if it opened its unit in the state, by hinting that “they would have certain hidden agenda other than political activities”.
On March 31, the Nagaland chief minister formally declared formation of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh units with the appointment of adhoc office bearers. On the occasion Neiphiu Rio had said the party after a thorough deliberation, decided to form NPF units in states of the north east inhabited by Nagas particularly in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
Rio had asserted the main intention to expand beyond Nagaland should not be misunderstood as it was only to create harmony with other regional political parties, while taking interest of the Naga political issue.

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