IMPHAL, Nov 15 – Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on Monday denied having any knowledge of the “Supra-State body” for the Nagas, saying the Central Government has not yet intimated anything on the issue to the State Government.
The statement came when the Chief Minister was speaking to the press on the sideline of Childrens’ Day celebration at Congress Bhawan here. Asked about the credibility of creation of a “Supra-State body” for the Nagas as reported by a Guwahati-based daily, Ibobi said, “The Government of Manipur will never take into consideration anything that is going to be detrimental to the integrity of the State.”
He said, “No information was received regarding the proposed Supra-State body. Clarification will be sought from the concerned Union Minister and Prime Minister about the alleged offer."
The Congress party has been doing its best to safeguard the territory and integrity of Manipur, Ibobi asserted.
Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Gaikhangam who also attended the function pledged that Congress will never do such a detrimental thing that may threaten the territory and integrity of the State. “We have so far protected the territorial integrity of Manipur and will continue to do so,” he insisted.
The opposition Manipur People’s Party (MPP) leader O Joy said the report on the proposed supra-State body for the Nagas is not officially confirmed yet. However, he charged the Congress for its double standards.
Joy said on August 4, 1972, the then Central Government and the State Government of Manipur conceded to unify all the Nagas, and today its outcome is the ‘supra-State body.’
The Manipur Government should immediately find out the truth and if it is officially confirmed, then Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur should be ready to oppose the proposal and that the State Government should also convene an emergency session of the State Assembly to discuss the matter, the MPP leader demanded.
Meanwhile, taking serious note of the proposed Supra-State body for the Nagas, various civil organisations of Manipur on Monday convened an emergency meeting to discuss the issue. The details of the meeting are awaited.
The Guwahati-base daily (not The Assam Tribune) said that the negotiations between the Indian Government and the NSCN-IM faction are now in its final stages. The final settlement envisages a “special federal relationship” between India and Nagaland and creation of a “Supra-State body” for the Nagas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to “preserve, protect and promote their cultural, social and customary practices”, it said.
The offer to create a pan-Naga ‘Supra State body’, instead of the “Greater Nagalim” demanded by the NSCN, has been touted by Central negotiators as the “second best option for the Naga people”, the daily said.