Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a scathing attack at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the ‘Naga accord’ even as he sought to woo voters for the upcoming Manipur Assembly Elections 2017. He claimed that even Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh was not taken into confidence before signing the agreement. Terming it as a ‘pre-paid’ accord, Rahul said ‘nobody knows about the accord.’ Elections will be held in 60 assembly seats in the state in two phase on March 4 and 8. Rahul’s comment comes after PM Modi had accused the Congress government in Manipur of spreading false propaganda on the Naga accord and said there was nothing in it that was detrimental to the interests of the state.
“I assure you that there is no single reference of ditching Manipur people or their interests in the Naga Accord,” he said at an election meeting here. The O Ibobi Singh government was carrying on “false campaign and misleading the people regarding the Naga Accord,” he had alleged.
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“The Naga Accord was signed one-and-half years ago. What were you doing? Were you in a deep sleep? All of a sudden you have woken up before elections. You are making false claims to mislead the people,” the prime minister said. The Congress government in the state has alleged that the details of the agreement have been kept “secret” as it “compromises the territorial integrity of Manipur.”
The Naga Peace Accord, termed a ‘framework agreement’, was signed between National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) and the Centre in August 2015. The signing of the agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations that spanned 18 years with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed.
A total of 54 crorepati candidates are in the fray for the first phase of Manipur Assembly elections to be held on March 4, while 8 have declared criminal cases against themselves, as per a latest report.
Manipur Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 167 candidates from 17 political parties, including 6 national parties, 5 state parties, 6 unrecognised parties and 14 independent candidates who are contesting in the first phase of Manipur assembly elections.
Out of the 167 candidates, 54 are crorepatis, it said.
Among party wise crorepati candidates, 21 out of 37 from INC, 21 of 38 from BJP, 5 of 12 from National Peoples Party, 2 of 8 from North East India Development Party and 2 of 6 from NCP have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore, Delhi-based ADR said in a report released today.
The average assets per candidate contesting in the first phase of Manipur polls is Rs 1.04 crore.
Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 37 INC candidates is Rs 1.73 crore, 38 BJP candidates (Rs 1.49 crore), 12 National Peoples Party candidates (Rs 1.06 crore), 10 AITC candidates (Rs 32.74 lakh), 6 NCP candidates (Rs 58.74 lakh) and 14 Independent candidates (Rs 26.36 lakh).
The three richest candidates contesting in the first phase of Manipur Assembly Elections are Sehpu Haokip of Naga Peoples Front with total assets of over Rs 13 crore, followed by Konthoujam Krishnakumar of BJP (over Rs 9 crore) and Kshetrimayum Biren Singh of INC (over Rs 8 crore), the report by the think-tank said.
A total of nine candidates have not declared their PAN details. The top three candidates with highest income are Kshetrimayum Biren Singh of INC with total income of over Rs 2 crore followed by Khundrakpam Bhabeshwar of LJP (over Rs 28 lakh) and Konthoujam Govindas also from INC (over Rs 27 lakh), it said. The report further said that out of 167 candidates analysed, 8 have declared criminal cases against themselves.
There are 3 candidates who have declared serious criminal cases, including cases related to attempt to murder, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property etc.
Among party wise candidates with criminal cases, 4 of 38 candidates from BJP, 2 of 37 candidates from Indian National Congress, 1 of 10 candidates from Manipur National Democratic Front and 1 of 6 candidates from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, it added.
On the education details of candidates the report said, 38 have declared their qualification to be between 5th and 12th, while 124 have declared having a qualification of graduate or above and one candidate is illiterate.
A total of 72 candidates have declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years, while 95 between 51 and 80 years.
In the first phase of Manipur assembly election this year, 7 female candidates are contesting.
(With agency inputs)