Home » Indefinite general strike begins in Thoubal and Kakching districts; normal life disrupted

Indefinite general strike begins in Thoubal and Kakching districts; normal life disrupted

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Imphal, May 10: Indefinite general strike called by Thoubal District MP Candidature Demand Committee in Thoubal and Kakching districts from 5 am today has disrupted normalcy in both the districts.
The state’s lone Rajya Sabha seat fell vacant due to the death of Haji Adbul Salam and a bye-election is being held on coming May 25 to choose his successor. The deceased MP belonged to Wabagai Assembly segment which is one of the eight Assembly segments in the Outer Parliamentary constituency most of whose electorates are disallowed by the Constitution to contest in the parliamentary elections as it has been reserved for scheduled tribes.
The total voters in this contentious cluster of Assembly segments number around 2.35 lakh and thus play a decisive role in determining the fate of the candidates.       
The indefinite bandh was called by the Thoubal District MP Candidature Demand Committee and it caused severe disruption in transportation and business activities.
Large numbers of people came from Heirok, Khangabok, Wabagai, Kakching, Hiyanglam and Sugnu to assemble at Khongjom bazaar and staged a road block on Imphal-Moreh highway. In the commercially vibrant town of Kakching, shops were closed and inter-district vehicles stayed off the road due to the strike.
Chief convenor of the committee and former legislator Y Thambal lamented that for the past 65 years the general category voters in the eight Assembly constituencies were denied their right to stand election from their own parliamentary constituency.
These voters can only exercise the right to choose one among the tribal candidates as their representative and they are being treated like second class citizens, he stated.
The committee has been waging a long battle with the authorities to wrest their candidature privilege and some solace was provided last time with the nomination of Haji Abdul Salam, a politician belonging to the general category, as the Rajya Sabha member.  
Thambal continued that as Salam died in the middle of his term it is only fair that a qualified person belonging to the general category from the victimized Assembly constituencies be elected as the state’s Rajya Sabha member at the election on May 25 and be given the chance to complete the remaining term.

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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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