Imphal: Former Union minister and five-time legislator Thounaojam Chaoba Singh, who was recently conferred the Padma Shri, said that the announcement filled him with far more joy than the occasion when he was sworn in to the central cabinet.
Chaoba Singh has been accorded the honour in the ‘Public Affairs’ category.
“When I heard that I will be conferred this award, my eyes grew moist. The joy I felt on hearing this piece of news is hundred times more than what I had experienced when I was sworn in as Union minister.
“Several leaders and popular politicians of the state haven’t received this recognition in their lifetime. For me, this is a huge achievement,” he said.
The 86-year-old politician had served as Union minister of state for sports, youth affairs, culture and food processing from 1999 to 2002, under the prime ministership of (late) Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He had also clinched the Nambol assembly seat five times from 1972.
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Asked about his political journey, he said, “There is a huge difference between the electoral politics of 1970s and 1980s and that of today. Prior to the existence of the anti-defection law, governments were less stable in the state.”
The veteran politician, who began his political career at the age of 20, also heaped praise on Chief Minister N Biren Singh, stating that he “is one of the most courageous personalities in the state’s political history, who is working to bring about all-round development to the state”.
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