New Canaan Village Authority denied the invitation extended to the chief minister and Hunphun Ukhrul Village Authority retracted the statement on the reception after both the villages held meetings in their respective villages.
By Tennoson Pheiray, TFM Ukhrul Correspondent
The proposed reception and hosting of a feast in honour of chief minister N Biren Singh on September 20, 2021 by Hunphun Village Authority has been cancelled. New Canaan Village Authority has also clarified that the welcome-note that was widely circulated in social media on the chief minister’s campaign “Go to Hills 2.0” was made by individuals with “vested interests”.
The cancellation of the proposed reception and clarification were issued by Hunphun Village Authority and New Canaan Village Authority respectively after a massive reaction by people of Ukhrul district on the issue.
On Thursday, New Canaan Village Authority denied the invitation extended to the chief minister and Hunphun Ukhrul Village Authority retracted the statement on the reception after both the villages held meetings in their respective villages. Observers in Ukhrul said that the contents of both the invitation and the statement were similar as if they were written by the same individual. “We may never know how they turned out to be so but it is obvious that someone was running the show from behind”, said a villager.
The New Canaan Village Authority also clarified that the welcome note being circulated was written by “individuals with vested interests”. The Village Authority further clarified that “New Canaan Village has not endorsed anyone in person or to any party to welcome Shri N Biren Singh to Ukhrul District under his Go to Hills campaign.”
Retracting the invitation, Hunphun Ukhrul Village Authority stated that it deeply regretted and expressed “solidarity and support to the demands of the tribal community of Manipur under Article 371C” and that the village authority rescinded its decision to welcome the chief minister of Manipur on September 20, 2021 as part of his Go to Hills 2.0 campaign”.
At a time when the hill districts are demanding the implementation of the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021, in the monsoon session, the induction of 8 MLAs to the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) by the Speaker’s order dated September 1, 2021, was perceived as a “direct challenge to the hill people of the state”.
Taking serious note of the series of “anti-tribal policies of Biren-led BJP government”, the Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) and Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long (TNWL) have resolved to “socially boycott” the chief minister and the speaker and had even announced “non-cooperation movement against the state government”.
Amidst the drama, the launching of “Go to Hills 2.0” campaign by the chief minister on September 6, 2021 was strongly opposed by tribal communities as the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021, was not tabled in the monsoon session of the assembly and also the assembly inducted eight valley MLAs into HAC.
Following stiff opposition from hill based organisations and forums, Manipur Legislative Assembly on September 8, 2021, withdrew the order on the induction of eight valley MLAs into the Hill Areas Committee (HAC). The latest development follows firm and unequivocal opposition to the Speaker’s move by the HAC as well as several hills based tribal organisations and forums. The HAC meeting on September 6, 2021, had resolved that the recent order appointing additional members from unscheduled areas other than what is specified in the First Schedule of the Presidential order of 1972 is unconstitutional and thus must be rescinded immediately as demanded by constitutional mandate and at the ends of justice.