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Making PDS rice share a poll plank perturbs PREPAK (Pro)

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Ostensibly taking a dig at some politicians and candidates who are contesting the ensuing Manipur Assembly Elections, the proscribed PREPAK (Pro) has admitted that it takes a small share of the PDS rice meant for onward distribution but asserted that the issue is not worth using it as a poll plank.

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While defending the appropriation of rice under Public Distribution System (PDA), the proscribed PREPAK (Pro) says that “armed revolutionaries” are human beings too and they “do not survive by grazing on green grass”. The outfit advised all not to sell themselves for a kg of rice.

“Candidates who are contesting against each other in the ensuing Manipur Assembly elections should not stoop so low and desist from scoring brownie points over the issue of not getting a kilogram of rice (PDS)” said PREPARK (Pro).

In a press note issued by Th Eshingchaoba Assistant Publicity Secretary argued that PREPAK (Pro) has not robbed “our farmers and their produce but honestly admit that we have taken some portions of the cheap rice that the Government of India occasionally allocates for the people of Manipur in the name of public distribution. We have taken the portion of the allocation before this allocation fell into the hands of politicians and their cronies. If there were cases of people dying of hunger due to non-availability of some portion of the allocated rice we had taken, we are ready to relax our share”.

However, PREPAK (Pro) said it has taken note that the poverty of the people and the fear of losing self-reliance were the gifts given to the people by “the anti-people policies” of the government and those who are hands-in-gloves with the politicians. PREPAK (Pro) clarified that it has not indulged in looting “golden ornaments of the people” for the revolution. “We are only using the items and money provided by the government of India for waging a war against it”, said the outfit.

The government has not done anything to halt the destruction of cultivable land that has led to a dependency on food crops and to improve the pitiful conditions of the farmers or peasants who toil in their fields for producing crops monsoon after monsoons, alleged PREPAK (Pro). “Instead of making non-availability of cheap rice through the public distribution system an election issue, one should be able to raise the issue of immediate deteriorating surroundings – the paddy fields, the dilapidated roads, and polluted rivulets – of these would be representatives or candidates in the fray for the Manipur Assembly Election. The candidates can fight their elections after making scrutiny of the issue mentioned”.

“We request all not to sell your lives for a handful of rice. The primary cause of bad communication networks, unemployment, lack of job opportunities and economic distress is not the act of appropriating a handful of rice by us. These candidates who had enriched themselves through illegal trade and now contesting elections are unable to find any issue that can be used as poll planks and agenda due to their shortsightedness. Therefore, their only main is making the issue of rice distribution an election issue” explained PREPAK (Pro).

“If candidates who are stinking rich through their ill-gotten wealth, are willing to honestly fight the election based on their observation of environment, poverty and lack of development, they can easily win the elections without campaigning for votes. Those candidates who have encroached on sacred groves and fields, those who have engaged in business in the name of revolutionary groups, those who have built secret and illegal warehouses and godowns in Manipur’s western gate – Jiri in connivance with police personnel should not stir the emotions of the public by making rice distribution and election issue through theatrics”, said the outfit.

While pointing out that “revolutionaries” are rendering their best services for the benefit of the land and its people, PREPAK (Pro) said that it has not remained silent spectators on issues close to the people of the land. “Please continue to encourage us, there are many of us who have left our homes and dear ones for the revolution in the last 20 or 30 years, we are human beings who eat food to survive, we are not animals who can graze on green grasses, please understand”, said the outfit.

Whether or not PREPAK (pro) should be allowed to have a pie of the rice from the public distribution system can be discussed through a referendum of the candidates in the fray for the Assembly Elections and thereafter, there should not be much of a problem if it becomes an election issue. “Based on the result, we will also take a policy decision,” said PREPAK (Pro).

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