Manipur transport minister Khashim Vashum addressing media in Imphal on November 4

Manipur transport minister Khasim Vashum on November 3 appealed to the All Manipur Tribal Development and Grievances Forum (AMTDGF) not to impose economic blockade.

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He also urged the leaders and members of the forum to come forward for a talk with the government while threatening that if the forum goes ahead with the agitation, appropriate legal actions will be initiated against them. The blockade was to begin from November 3 midnight.

Addressing the media at his office chamber in Imphal on November 3, the transport minister said that it is unfortunate the forum decided to impose economic blockade which was not heard for a long time after the BJP-led government came to power in the state.

Not only causing inconveniences to the people, such kind of agitation is one of the major factors behind hindering developmental activities in the state, he said.

The transport minister said that the Manipur government is totally against bandh or any kind of blockade whether it may be on the national highways or general areas.

He added that bandhs and blockades were things of the past since the BJP-led government was installed eight years ago. “However, AMTDGF came up with the outdated mode of agitation,” he added.

The minister then said that any economic blockade at this juncture will also give a bad image to Manipur when it comes to the internationally renowned Sangai Festival which will be held this month.

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The AMTDGF announced to impose the indefinite economic blockade pressing the state government to release 100% pending funds meant for 2022 under MGNREGS.

Clarifying on the demand for the release of the pending MGNREGS funds, the transport minister said that the state government had already released Rs 100 crore in June this year and some portion of the funds had already been released by the state finance department and under process at the treasury department.

The 100% of the funds will be released within the current financial year, he said.

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