Imphal, Aug. 13 (PTI): The Congress in Manipur on Tuesday claimed that people were apprehensive that the Centre might revoke special provisions granted to the northeast and downgrade the states in the region to union territories, just as it did in Jammu and Kashmir.
Manipur Congress chief Gaikhangam, however, maintained that the creation of the Union Territory of Ladakh might have been a “necessity”.
“The decision taken against Jammu and Kashmir is unfortunate and questionable. It indicates that there is a possibility that northeastern states, including Manipur, might have to face a similar situation in the near future,” he told reporters here.
Pointing out that the situation in the northeast was “different” from that of the other parts of India, Gaikhangam also said that the move to downgrade J&K to a union territory proves that those in power “do not entertain apprehensions and concerns of people”.
“One cannot rule out that Manipur, too, will be divided into two union territories based on its topography – hills and valley. People are apprehensive that the Centre might also revoke special provisions granted to northeast,” the former deputy chief minister stated.
The Centre on August 5 revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and split it into two union territories.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had last week asserted that the government would not revoke Article 371, which grants special provisions to the northeast states.
The Narendra Modi government has no intention to remove Article 371 which gives certain special rights to some northeast states, he had said.
According to Article 371 C, which grants special provisions to Manipur, the President may provide for the constitution and functions of a committee of the legislative assembly, comprising members elected from the Hill Areas, for modifications to be made in the rules of business of the government.
It also states that the governor shall submit an annual report to the president regarding the administration of the hill areas.