Manipur Assembly Session Adjourned Soon After Commencement, Most Kuki MLAs Skip

Six of the 10 MLAs from Kuki-dominated areas have already sought leave of absence from the speaker of the Assembly.

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Manipur on Tuesday, 29 August, held a crucial one-day Assembly session, the first one since ethnic violence broke out in the northeastern state in May. The House, however, was adjourned sine die soon after commencement following ruckus over the violence.

The much-awaited session was to discuss the violence raging for nearly four months. Most of the Kuki MLAs, regardless of party affiliations, skipped the session over safety concerns.

Six of the 10 MLAs from Kuki-dominated areas had reportedly sought leave of absence from the speaker of the Assembly.


'Wasn't Possible To Stay in Imphal on Security Grounds'

Five MLAs had applied for a leave of absence to the speaker on Monday, 28 August, while Social Welfare and Cooperation Minister Nemcha Kipgen, MLA of Kangpokpi, had sent her application on Saturday, 26 August, an official told The Telegraph.

The MLAs who sought leave on Monday were Tribal and Hill Affairs Minister Letpao Haokip (Tengnoupal), Churachandpur MLA Khaute, Kimneo Hangshing of Saikul, Haokholet Kipgen of Saitu and Henglep legislator Letzamang Haokip.

In her application, Nemcha Kipegen had said that ever since ethnic clashes erupted in Manipur on 3 May, it has not been possible for her family members and her to stay in Imphal on security grounds.

Last month, the state government had recommended a session by 21 August, but later revised it to 28 August after not getting a green light from the Raj Bhavan.

The Chief Minister's Office last week had announced that the Assembly will reconvene on 29 August.

The Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) and the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) had recently denounced the convening of the session, saying that the present situation was not suitable for the Kuki-Zo MLAs to attend.


'Assembly Session an Eyewash'

Former Manipur Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh on 26 August, said that the Assembly session was an eyewash and not in the public interest.

"As a member of the committee, I suggested that the session be held at least for five days to discuss the unprecedented situation in the state. The opposition has just four or five members. We are not here to criticize the government, but discuss issues of public interest," the former CM told news agency PTI.

The Manipur Assembly had last convened for the budget session during February-March and the clashes that erupted on 3 May had pushed back the monsoon session.

Meanwhile, Union Minister BL Verma on Monday said that the situation in Manipur is "firmly under control." 

(With inputs from The Telegraph.)

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