Manipuri Muslim bodies demand nomination of a Muslim as Rajya Sabha MP

    By Dr. Syed Ahmed for,

    Imphal: Muslims bodies of Manipur demanded nomination of a Muslim leader as MP for the Rajya Sabha. This was expressed by the Spokes-person of Pangal (Manipur Muslim) Political Forum (PPF) M.I. Khan at a press conference held on 16th January 2014 at Manipur Press Club at Imphal.

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    Speaking at the press conference, Khan said the ruling State Government should nominate a senior Muslim politician from the State as MP for the Rajya Sabha. In the last 60 years the representation in the Rajya Sabha from the State has been either from the Meitei or tribal community. The Muslim community too deserves to have an MP for the Rajya Sabha, Khan added.

    Spokes person of PPF, M.I. Khan speaking at the press conference (Photo by Manipur Update)

    If the ruling Congress Government fails to accept our humble proposal the Muslim community in the State would boycott the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, he further said.

    Khan also pointed out that the State Government should consider nominating the Rajya Sabha MP from the 8 valley assembly constituencies, inhabited by Meiteis and Muslims, which fall under the Outer Parliamentary Constituency. The people in these assembly segments have been denied the right to contest Parliamentary elections as the constituency is reserved for the Scheduled Tribes. They only exercise the right to vote. Veteran Congress-man and Former Minister Md. Abdul Salam, who represented the Wabagai Assembly Constituency, has been addressing the need for representation of a Manipuri Muslim in the Rajya Sabha, Khan added.

    The press conference was attended by the representatives of All Manipur Muslim Girls Students’ Union, North Eastern Minorities Students’ Federation, All Manipur Muslim Women’s Development Organization and Manipur Muslim Un-Employed Youths Association.

    The above mentioned 8 assembly segments of the valley which fall under the Outer Parliamentary Constituency are 33-Heirok, 34-Wangjing-Tentha, 35-Khangabok, 36-Wabagai, 37-Kakching, 38-Hiyanglam, 39-Sugnu and 40-Jiribam. These 8 constituencies, settled by Non-Scheduled Tribes, along with the 20 Hill assembly constituencies constitute the Outer Parliamentary Constituency reserved for the Schedule Tribes. 32 assembly constituencies of the valley districts constitute the Inner Parliamentary Constituency.

    Some civil society organizations from the 8 assembly segments have been demanding nomination of a person from their segments as the Rajya Sabha MP.

    The election for the lone Rajya Sabha seat is scheduled for February 7, 2014. The incumbent Rajya Sabha MP Rishang Keishing’s term ends on April 9, 2014. Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has started distributing application forms for intending candidates for the election.