Pressure is mounting on the Manipur government to exclude non-Manipuris from participation in the June 2 Imphal Municipal Council elections. The demand to disenfranchise non-Manipuris has been made by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) which has imposed a 42-hour shutdown here since Thursday midnight.
The JCILPS and other activists have demanded that non-Manipuris must not be allowed to contest in the elections or cast their votes. However, senior government officials told the media that the voters’ list has already been published and it cannot be altered now. The government too is maintaining its silence on the sensitive issue, as it cannot take away the voting rights of citizens only because they are non-Manipuris.
Meanwhile, activists of the JCILPS have cautioned that if non-Manipuris are allowed to contest in the local elections, then the State might one day become Tripura where the local people have been outnumbered by outsiders.
They also claimed that in certain wards of Imphal, Manipuris are fewer in number than non-Manipuris. ‘The agitation to exclude non-Manipuris from the election process shall continue,’ JCILPS member stated.