FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
IMPHAL April 16: Social Welfare Minister AK Mirabai not only cut a cruel joke to the 80 years plus old pensioners but also exposed her contempt for media persons on Sunday. Pensioners numbering more than 2000 had assembled on Sunday morning, much before 9 am, the official schedule to take their pension. They are from Wangoi, Mayang Imphal, Sekmai and Lamsang. The distribution of cash started only from 10:30 am for unexplained reasons under the supervision of KH Ahanjao, district social welfare officer.
However he scooted around 5 pm and remained untraceable after switching off his mobile handset. The old pensioners who had to skip their meals and perhaps medication for the day refused to return home and stayed put saying that they will go back with their money. A holder of black-green card is given Rs 4800 for 2 years and white card holder Rs 3400 for 17 months.
O Lukhoi, the Wangoi MLA rushed there. After listening to the complaints he rang up Mirabai with the loud speaker on. After briefly informing her of the situation Lukhoi also tipped her that media persons had arrived. She was heard replying “So what, let them come”. A gar Panchayat member Laishram Thoiba said that what she said about media persons was very unbecoming of a Minister. What she has been saying to media persons all these years are mere sugar coats. It transpires that she located the missing officer and sent him to the I MR ground with cash at 9 pm. However it was only for the pensioners of Wangoi whose MLA was present there. The pensioners of other constituencies had to return home empty handed. It is not known when a new day will be fixed for them or what ordeals they will undergo again. It was learnt that most of the Congress MLAs were given cash so that the pensioners could be given their money in their respective constituencies. In rank discrimition other MLAs were denied this simple service to their voters.