Avoid economic blockade as form of agitation: PM

Prime Minister Manmohon Singh On Saturday said that there was no plan for a `supra state` for Nagas in the Northeast.

Updated: Dec 03, 2011, 18:58 PM IST

Imphal: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday said frequent strikes and economic blockades in Manipur would only impede development and bring untold miseries to the commoners and urged people not to indulge in such forms of agitations that hinder economic growth.

"We are aware that the recent road blockades by some groups caused immense hardships to the common people of Manipur. The blockades were painful for the people of the state and harmful to its economy," the prime minister said addressing a public rally here.
"To my mind, there are no winners in such disruptive activities, there are only losers. It is my hope that we will not see a repeat of such actions in the future."

Manmohan Singh was in Imphal on a day-long visit accompanied by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to inaugurate a series of infrastructure facilities.

"The devolution under the 13th Finance Commission from the centre to the state for the period 2010-2015 is expected to be about Rs.13,600 crore, which is more than double the amount given in the period 2005-2010. Manipur`s plan outlay for the current year is Rs.3,210 crore which is more than three times the plan outlay in the year 2005-06," the prime minister said.

Manmohan Singh and Gandhi earlier in the day inaugurated the new assembly secretariat complex and the high court Complex, besides an auditorium of the Manipur Film Development Corporation.

"The state government has made available 640 acres of land and the Airports Authority of India has drawn up a plan for upgrading the infrastructure to international standards," he said.

The prime minister also highlighted central government plans for infrastructure development, building hospitals and boosting the education sector.

"The state government has also requested for introduction of an international bus service between Imphal and Mandalay in Myanmar. As part of our Look East policy, we will suitably take up this request with the government of Myanmar," the prime minister said.

Manmohan Singh also urged militant groups to shun the path of violence and come to the mainstream.
"I urge militant groups to shun violence and let their demands be articulated through constitutional means," he said.

Normal life was affected and all markets, shops and business establishments in the city remained closed following a dawn-to-dusk general strike enforced by various civil society groups to oppose the prime minister`s visit.

Civil society groups like the United Committee Manipur and All Manipur United Clubs Organisation have jointly called the general strike, alleging that central leaders had utterly neglected people during an over 100-day economic blockade on two key national highways by both the Nagas and Kukis.