Imphal: The National People’s Party (NPP) on Sunday released its “people’s action document” to become the first political party in Manipur to come with an election manifesto for the ensuing election to the Manipur Assembly.
Manipur will go to a two-phase poll on February 27 and March 3. As such, political parties are gearing up for the poll while heavily engaging in selection of candidates to be contested as official nominees of the party.
The NPP will work towards the repeal of AFSPA from Manipur, the manifesto today evening said.
It stated that the party will also consult with various civil society organizations to ensure an inclusive and comprehensive process toward addressing human rights violations and concerns.
The manifesto also said that NPP will reach out to all stakeholders to ensure indigenous rights of all communities are protected. It will also focus on a dialogue process with insurgency groups and non-state actors for sustained peace, the manifesto promised.
The NPP manifesto released at a function held at the auditorium of MAYOL at Iroisemba in Imphal West district also promised to formulate a comprehensive and sustainable economic policy for a well-rounded and appropriate economic development of the state in consultation with leading economists and policy makers as well as with the people at large.
The manifesto further said that NPP will work towards securing the agro based industries, fishery sector, tourism sector and human resource development for economic resurgence of the state.
Asserting that the NPP believes that transparency must be maintained in taxation, the party promised that it will work towards rationalization of the state taxation system by reviewing the existing system, and promoting investment both foreign and direct to enhance the financial strength of the state.
NPP will also aim for equitable and need based distribution of available revenue resources of the state and Centre to address the concerns of developmental injustices of the past.
On the education sector, the party assured that it will create a committee of experts, government agencies, civil society, parents and student representatives to formulate education policy.
The manifesto also said that NPP believes in quality education and not quantity outputs while asserting that it will promote effective learning environments through participatory approach and equitable access to all levels of education and its allied facilities.
The existing school curriculums and revamp them with special focus on the inclusion of indigenous histories, linguistic diversity, gender sensitivity and consent, sexual and reproductive health, environmental education and climate change guided by scientific temperament and research, it said.
NPP will critically assess existing laws and legislations pertaining to forest to align them with scientific forest management and conservation methods.
It will ensure free prior informed consent of the people when planning developmental projects.
If they come to power, the NPP will create a forest protection task force to control illegal deforestation and misuse of forest land, it promised among others.
To combat the issues of climate change, NPP will work towards better public transport systems and pedestrian friendly townships to reduce carbon footprint.
On the healthcare delivery, it promised allocation of more budgets for public healthcare in the state and work towards providing free health services to the poor.
The party will work towards establishing more medical and nursing colleges in the state with special focus on rural areas and hill districts.
On gender justice, the party promised that it will give special attention to women entrepreneurs and women led cooperative societies.
NPP will provide zero interest rate loans to women led Self Help Groups (SHGs) and ventures. It will focus on the needs of differently abled women and give them appropriate support for sustenance.
It also promised to establish a Gender Justice Commissions for the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual) community to address their concerns comprehensively.
NPP will work toward action-based reforms such as establishing gender-neutral washrooms in public spaces, health infrastructure that addresses specific needs of the LGBTQIA community, and mitigating discrimination, it said.
The party also promised formulating a comprehensive youth policy which is contextually relevant in addressing the needs of the youths in the state.
The party will ensure that recruitment to government jobs is strictly based on fairness, merit and transparency, and ensure a streamlined process for the prompt announcement of results.
NPP will create space for the growth of young entrepreneurs by encouraging and assisting entrepreneurial ventures in the state through promotion of small and micro scale enterprises like organic farming, bee keeping, fishery, poultry, floriculture, baking, eco-tourism, hospitality, and other innovative livelihood projects.
In the field of sports, the party will accord high priority in the development of quality sports facilities in rural areas to harness available talent and potential.
It will facilitate quality training and coaching of youth in different fields of sports.
NPP will provide new infrastructure and improve existing ones with focus on indigenous sports.
In the manifesto, the party also promised to formulate an arts & culture policy towards preserving the indigenous cultural practices of communities in Manipur.
It also said that NPP will strive to preserve the State’s indigenous practices by establishing research & development institutes to facilitate documentation & digitization of information related to indigenous arts & culture, it promised.
The party further promised to formulate fresh policies for the agriculture and horticulture sectors respectively towards improvement of rural economy in the state.
It also reviewed the existing Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act of 2014 to further strengthen agricultural land protection.
In the tourism sector, NPP will promote eco-tourism by incorporating more community led initiatives and ventures.
The party will support the establishment of homestays at strategic sites through start-up loans, among others.
The NPP is a political party that has its roots firmly nourished and nurtured by the home grounds of northeastern states. A major turning point for NPP came in 2013 when Purno Agitok Sangma, the former Lok Sabha Speaker, formally took over the party as its national president.
“Sangma reinvented the NPP with much vigor and innovative political vision. The common agenda for northeast and the clarion call for a collective voice were pushed into action with promising results”, it stated.
The party secured mandate again in the 2017 Manipur Legislative Assembly by winning four key constituencies and confirmed four ministers in the cabinet including the deputy chief minister Y Joykumar Singh.