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Manipur polls: Protecting state’s integrity, pushing for AFSPA repeal among Congress promises

The concern over the state’s territorial integrity stems from insurgent group NSCN-IM’s “Greater Nagalim” demand

Published: 05th February 2022 03:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2022 03:38 PM   |  A+A-

AFSPA

For representational purposes (Soumyadip Sinha | Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The Congress has vowed to safeguard Manipur’s territorial integrity and urge the Centre to repeal the contentious Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), if voted to power in Manipur.

The demand for AFSPA’s repeal from the Northeast grew louder in the aftermath of the December 4 killing of civilians in a botched ambush by the Army in Nagaland’s Mon district.

The Okram Ibobi Singh’s previous Congress government in Manipur had withdrawn the 1958 law from seven Assembly constituencies.

The concern over the state’s territorial integrity stems from insurgent group NSCN-IM’s “Greater Nagalim” demand. The outfit envisages a unified Naga homeland by integrating the Naga-inhabited areas of neighbouring Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh with Nagaland.

In its election manifesto, the Congress promised to mount pressure on the Centre to resolve all inter-state and India-Myanmar boundary issues.

The party made several other commitments. It promised to offer free critical medical treatment for children, compensate wrongly-detained media persons, adopt a “Mountain Economy” for integrated development of the land and people of the hill districts, fill in all backlog vacancies for direct recruitment and promotion reserved for Scheduled Tribes, ensure free legal services to senior and old age citizens seeking justice etc.

The Congress promised to give 50,000 jobs to the youth on a yearly basis, take steps to make the state self-reliant in paddy production and enhance irrigation infrastructure for the benefit of farmers.

The other commitments include solving the problem of power shortage and power cuts, promoting 5,000 MSMEs in one year, ensuring universal access to drinking water, establishing the State Food and Essential Commodities Corporation, reviving the agriculture policy of the UPA government, safeguarding rights of linguistic and religious minorities, developing satellite towns around Imphal, promoting terraced pisciculture in the hill districts etc.



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