IMPHAL | Jun 12 : Governor, Najma Heptullah after being away from the state for months decided to meet the media to take stock of the present developments and held a press interaction programme at her Raj Bhavan office this afternoon.
The governor was asked pointedly if she had not played favourite by allowing the BJP to form the government in Manipur with only 21 MLAs, especially in the backdrop of the recent post election controversy in Karnataka over government formation.
Heptullah replied unfazed, “The matter is beyond redemption and what has happened has happened.”
She clarified further, “If Ibobi had come to me first with documents, I would have invited him to form the government. I needed to see the certified copied from the election commission first before making any move,” she said adding that the life of the state assembly was then not over, if they had resigned and assembly was nullified then she could have done something, she said that then, the assembly was still alive and she could not call Ibobi Singh. Karnataka had a different issue, she claimed.
On deliberation of the Manipur University imbroglio, the governor said that she met the vice-chancellor and discussed about the current situation. “I am just a Rector, my work and administrative powers are not exactly defined and I do not want to interfere,” she mentioned further that matters pertaining to the university is the prerogative of the Centre.
Imphal Free Press asked about the Governor’s opinion of the military camp located inside the Manipur University campus and she said that the camp was there because of the insurgency factor. “If they do not interfere in the workings of the university, its ok ! If otherwise then the matter has to be treated seriously. Insurgency has come down though,” she said.
Manipur deserves to be known in the country and abroad because of its uniqueness, especially in culture and its scenic beauty said Heptulla.
She informed that for personal reasons, she was away but felt great to be here again and the interaction was on a variety of subjects.
She mentioned that she had met many entrepreneurs and specialists in India and abroad, and had intimated them about the state and the potential that it offers.
She had invited non-resident Indians to come to Manipur and take an assessment for themselves and if possible to initiate start-ups for business activities. This would bring development in various sectors including education, health, tourism, organic farming and connectivity, she said.
She also dwelled on empowering local artisans and promoting crafts. The governor pointed out to a bow and arrow fixed on her office wall and mentioned that the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi was much appreciative about the quality and the cost of the local product.
“The Prime Minister in his visit here had asked me to send 20 bows with arrows to Gujarat, which I did,” she said adding that Manipur has a huge potential in crafts and weaving and artisans needs to be promoted.
The governor added that she would look into various issues that concerns development in the state shortly.
On another note, she also voiced concern about preservation of the Loktak lake. She said the lake is another treasure of the state and it should be ensured by the state government that the dumping of waste from the city does not end up at Loktak lake. She opined that the Ithai barrage is another deterrent in conservation of the lake and needs to be scrapped. She said that she has accepted the invitation of the Loktak fishermen to visit the lake and would go soon to see the condition of the lake for herself.