The repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958 is likely to be a top issue in the upcoming Assembly elections in Manipur scheduled early next year.
The demand for repealing of the draconian Act from the Northeast has gained momentum after the security forces killed 14 civilians in Nagaland on December 4.
After the ruling BJP’s two vital allies — Naga People’s Front (NPF) and National People’s Party (NPP) — the main opposition Congress in Manipur on Saturday demanded the withdrawal of AFSPA from Manipur.
The NPP and the NPF had recently reiterated their demand for the repeal of the “draconian” law, as it did not “help in any way” to tame the insurgency in the Northeast.
Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee’s working president Keisham Meghachandra on Saturday urged Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh to press Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repeal AFSPA in the ongoing Winter Session of the Parliament.
“Manipur cabinet must adopt a resolution for the immediate removal of the AFSPA from the entire state,” he told reporters in Imphal.
Meghachandra said the Congress government had earlier removed AFSPA from seven Assembly constituencies in Manipur.
“If Congress comes back to power in the 2022 elections, the first cabinet meeting would decide on the immediate and complete removal of AFSPA from the entire state of Manipur,” he said.
Elections to the 60-seat Manipur Assembly are likely to be held in February-March next year.