Imphal, Jan 16: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar disclosed on Monday that the Bharatiya Janata Party is planning a Congress-free Manipur. The Human Resource Development Minister was talking to reporters in the BJP office here on the conclusion of his two-day visit to Manipur to short-list the names of the party candidates for the 60 assembly constituencies.
Manipur goes to polls in two phases on March 4 and 8. Javadekar said: "The final list of the BJP candidates will be released shortly before the nomination of papers. Every BJP member has the right to aspire for the party ticket." However, each case would be examined by the election committee of ten party for allotting tickets, he said.
One senior BJP leader told IANS that the delayed allotment of party tickets was to pre-empt "anti-party activities by those who miss the bus". With over six strong aspirants in each constituency, the five disappointed politicians in each constituency may join some other parties or work against the party candidates as a political vendetta, he said.
All the BJP ticket aspirants have publicly pledged support to the party candidate. One such aspirant said: "Such a miracle had never happened in the past in Manipur." Javadekar said: "On Sunday, I had urged Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh to tender resignation on moral ground as he is politicking the blockade." "Since law and order is a state subject, we cannot do anything except to rush paramilitary forces on request. But Ibobi is not making use of the forces to gain political mileage," the Union Minister said.
However, a Congress leader said: "Despite the Manipur government's request for 60 companies of paramilitary forces, the Centre has sent just 29 companies and it is not enough." Javadekar also accused the Chief Minister of not reacting to his call for resignation.
However, the Congress leader said: "Ibobi has been away in Delhi for party works. Javadekar will get a befitting reply when Ibobi is back." The Union Minister also said that despite the people of Manipur suffering as a result of the blockade, the Manipur government refused to take part in the tripartite talks arranged by the Centre.
He said: "Ibobi does not care for the people." Though ticket aspirants have been thronging the party office here since Sunday, Javadekar, Lok Sabha member Prahlad Singh Patel and the state unit leaders have refused to meet anyone.
Instead they were informed that the state election committee had short-listed the candidates and the list would be submitted to the election committee of the party headed by their national President Amit Shah.