Home » MCC: Row over large gatherings at official residence of CM and detention of YouTuber

MCC: Row over large gatherings at official residence of CM and detention of YouTuber

by Editorial Team
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MCC: Row over large gatherings at official residence of CM and detention of YouTuber

Manipur Police have taken swift action by detaining a YouTuber named Johny Sarungbam following a viral Facebook post allegedly containing inflammatory remarks about women. The post specifically targeted women attending meetings at the Chief Minister’s official bungalow during the election season, suggesting a deliberate attempt to tarnish their reputation and modesty. Media reports have indicated a large gathering of women taking place, with suspicions arising that the CM’s official residence and the state’s infrastructure have been used for campaigning by the BJP government. Johny Sarungbam’s comments were made in this context.
Interestingly, a similar incident involving scandalous remarks led to the Supreme Court restoring bail to a YouTuber accused of making derogatory comments against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. The court’s decision not to impose restrictions on the accused’s speech while on bail has sparked debates about the interpretation of what constitutes scandalous speech in the realm of social media. During the hearings, Justice Oka posed a crucial question, addressing Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who represented the State. He raised concerns about potentially inundating jails with individuals making allegations on platforms like YouTube, especially in the pre-election period.
Turning to Manipur, Chief Minister Biren Singh has been actively engaging with various community groups over the past four months at his official residence. These interactions, which include Meira Paibis, women’s groups, and youths, aim to calm tempers and address concerns about the ongoing crisis in Manipur. The escalating violence between the dominant Meitei community and the Kuki tribals has reached a critical point, making it difficult for these communities to interact peacefully, hence the need for women to be called for meetings. This is the justification by the CM’s office.
A member of the CM’s core team emphasized that these sessions are not merely political meetings but part of an earnest effort to restore peace in the region. During one such session, Biren Singh addressed concerns about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged indifference towards Manipuris. Singh also reiterated the BJP’s commitment to implementing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Manipur, a key campaign promise, along with suspending the Free Movement Regime. By reminding attendees of the BJP candidate’s involvement in identifying illegal immigrants, Biren Singh aimed to garner support and approval from the audience, highlighting the party’s stance on restoring peace and resolving grievances among different communities. Despite these efforts, it’s evident that political campaigning is taking place by utilizing state infrastructure.
However, opposition parties have lodged complaints alleging violations of the Model Code of Conduct as CM Biren Singh conducts political campaigns at the official residence provided by the state of Manipur. While the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) serves as both a public office and the residence of the Chief Minister, it plays a crucial role in governing the state and overseeing various governmental functions. Utilizing this space for political purposes raises concerns about potential breaches of the model code of conduct and the misuse of government resources for electoral gains. The question arises: what action will the Election Commission take? Given the circumstances, it’s uncertain what actions, if any, the Election Commission will pursue.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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