Manipur seeks action against Nagaland CM for 'hate speech'

Imphal, Feb 9 (IANS) The Manipur cabinet has decided to approach the Election Commission to initiate action against Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for the "hate speech" he made against his counterpart Okram Ibobi Singh, a minister said here Saturday.

"We (Manipur cabinet) have taken serious note of the hate speech made by the Nagaland chief minister which could spark communal tension and have an adverse impact on inter-state relations," said Manipur Education Minister Moirangthem Okendro Singh.

Okendro, also spokesperson of the Manipur government, said the cabinet, which met Friday evening, has decided to approach the Election Commission of India and the union home ministry seeking against action against the Nagaland chief minister as per the election code of conduct and sections of the Indian Penal Code.

"Manipur being a multi-community society, the cabinet was of the opinion that such irresponsible and provocative public statements should be avoided in the larger public interest," he told IANS.

Rio should be held accountable if any untoward incident breaks out in Manipur as a result of the "hate speech", Okendro said.

On Feb 6, the Nagaland chief minister, who is seeking re-election from the Northern Angami- II Assembly Constituency, referred to Ibobi as "one of the biggest enemies of Naga people and responsible for the suppression of Nagas" during his election campaign for his party Naga People's Front (NPF) in Nagaland's Zunheboto district.

The NPF leader, who is confident of making a political hat-trick against a divided opposition Congress in the Feb 23 elections to the 60-member assembly, also termed the Congress leaders in Nagaland as not genuine and only agents of outsiders and representatives of the adversaries of the Naga people.

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