Manipur Women Vendors Association Calls for Political Unity, opposes President’s Rule

In the heart of Imphal, security personnel vigilantly stand guard, ensuring control over the law and order situation and effectively implementing curfew during the designated hours. Tehelka Photo by Aribam Bishwajit

In an apparent response to the demands of some political parties seeking a change in the chief ministership, Khwairamband Keithel Nupi Marup, an association representing approximately 1000 women vendors, has called for unity among political parties, MLAs, and ministers to work towards a common goal. Laishram Memma, President of the Manipur Keithel Nupi Marup, conveyed this message during a press conference held at the Manipur Press Club, reiterating the people’s opposition to President’s rule in Manipur.

Memma drew attention to the ongoing attacks by armed Kuki militants since May 3, which have resulted in the tragic loss of innocent lives in the outskirts of the Valley areas. Stressing the urgent need for ministers, MLAs, and political parties to unite, she emphasized the importance of establishing a common goal to address this issue. Memma discouraged the culture of blame and criticism, stating that the people of Manipur are already familiar with the conduct of both past and present governments.

The representative also urged political parties, ministers, and MLAs to refrain from advocating for President’s Rule or seeking a change in the state government leadership. Memma criticized the Union Home Minister for expressing administrative preferences that create divisions between the hills and valleys, demanding clarification on this matter.

Raising concerns about hidden agendas, Memma questioned the motives behind the Mizoram BJP’s support for President’s rule in Manipur. She highlighted the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum’s stance on changing the Chief Minister, threatening non-cooperation with ongoing peace talks unless their demands are met. Emphasizing the importance of transparency, Memma called on these groups to disclose their hidden agendas to the common people, as achieving peace should be the top priority.

The organization made a heartfelt appeal to all political parties, ministers, MLAs, and civil society organizations (CSOs) in Manipur, urging them to work together with a shared objective of restoring peace in the state. In her concluding statement, Memma Devi called upon the Chief Minister to effectively fulfill his role and duties in order to safeguard Manipur’s integrity. She reassured him of the unwavering support of the mothers in upholding the integrity of Manipur.

The protest in multiple locations across the state persists, while residents in the foothills live in a perpetual state of fear, bracing themselves for potential attacks from suspected Kuki militants. Tragically, since the eruption of violence in Churachandpur district of Manipur on May 3, more than 120 lives have been lost, accompanied by the destruction of over 3,500 properties, ultimately leading to the displacement of over 60,000 individuals across the entire state.