M A I N   N E W S

BJP lashes out at govt for failure on Manipur front
Tribune news Service

New Delhi, August 17
The Bharatiya Janata Party today took the ruling UPA government to task for the prevailing explosive situation in Manipur, blaming the Centre for its failure to take any action to ease it.

BJP spokesperson Sushma Swaraj told mediapersons here that Home Minister Shivraj Patil’s statement in Parliament did not throw much light on the situation in Manipur, where the common man was angry with the government and women were staging ‘naked protests’ on the streets against the security forces.

Asking the government for the reasons to adopt a wait-and-watch policy in the troubled state, she said the government had conceded that there was no improvement in the situation even after lifting of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the municipal limits of Imphal.

“The statement of the Home Minister was equally directionless as the government policy,” she said. In a reply to a question, Ms Swaraj clarified that the BJP was for the review of the Special Powers Act and not for the repealing as demanded by political parties in Manipur.

On another issue, she said the party MPs would use every opportunity to highlight the wrong policies of the government resulting in the high inflation besides proposing to bring down the interest rate of the Employees Provident Fund.

“These are the issues that concern the interests of the common man, farmers and agriculturists,” she stressed.

Ms Swaraj said a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party, participated by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L. K. Advani and his Rajya Sabha counterpart Jaswant Singh, and party President M.Venkaiah Naidu would raise the issues of national security in the remaining three weeks of the session.

These would include the government’s decision to revoke POTA even in the face of increased terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir and a burning Manipur, protesting against the security forces ill-treating women.

The party would also raise the issue of “failure” of the Assam Government in conducting the Independence Day celebrations without losing lives of several youngsters and schoolchildren, she said.

The party would not let down its level of fight against corruption and “tainted” ministers during the session, but this would be relegated to the secondary level.



Strike cripples life in Manipur

Imphal, August 17
Manipur remained tense today as agitators refused to take the body of the self-immolated student leader from the morgue, while an indefinite general strike paralysed life in the state.

The agitators gave an ultimatum demanding the resignation of all 60 MLAs within five days if the disturbed area status was not removed from the state.

The agitators were demanding that they would take out a funeral procession with the body of Pebam Chittaranjan, who died here yesterday after setting himself on fire, from the RIMS hospital morgue in Imphal to Bishnupur district and then back to Takhel Leikai in Imphal West district for the cremation.

State authorities rejected the request in view of the prevailing law and order situation and instead asked the agitators to take the body till Takhel Leikai only for the cremation.

In view of the imbroglio, the indefinite general strike called by the Apunba Lup, which has been spearheading the agitation, is likely to continue. — UNI


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