Imphal, Feb 3 (IANS) Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh should resign on moral grounds since he has failed to solve the mounting unemployment in the last 15 years, union minister Giriraj Singh said here on Wednesday. The chief minister as well as Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam slammed the remark.
Giriraj Singh, the union minister of state for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, mounted his attack on the state government at the conclusion of his three-day official visit to the state and before leaving for Tripura.
During his visit to Manipur, he inspected various centrally sponsored schemes.
Interacting with various sections of people at the house of BJP legislator Thongam Bishajit, Giriraj Singh said Ibobi has been chief minister for 15 years and yet the unemployment figure in Manipur has crossed seven lakh, in a state with a population less than 30 lakh.
Wondering what Ibobi has done for employment generation, Giriraj Singh said the chief minister should resign on moral grounds.
At the function, the BJP’s state unit president Thounaojam Chaoba said the Centre had sanctioned Rs.100 crore long time back for a sports university, but it was yet to be built as the Manipur government was “uncooperative”.
Ibobi and Gaikhangam hit back at Giriraj Singh for his remarks during a function at the Congress office held to mark the 10 years of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
“A number of central ministers have been visiting Manipur all these months,” Ibobi said, and questioned whether they were coming “for facilitating the abolition of centrally-sponsored schemes”.
He said that though the state approached the prime minister and the finance minister with a request not to withdraw central funding for various schemes, from December 2015 onwards, several funds were withdrawn from the northeastern region.
“During the UPA government, the Look East policy was introduced. The NDA government converted it to Act East policy. This may be a ploy to withdraw the funding of the schemes completely to cause more unemployment,” he said.
Gaikhangam said several welfare schemes may be withdrawn gradually, and cautioned the people to be watchful of the BJP.