PM abandoned responsibility for ‘BJP-manufactured crisis’ in Manipur: Cong

NEW DELHI, 15 Apr: The Congress on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of abandoning all responsibility for the “BJP-manufactured crisis” in Manipur and asked why is he “protecting” Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh attacked the BJP ahead of Home Minister Amit Shah’s poll campaign engagements in the violence-hit state.
“The prime minister has abandoned all responsibility for the BJP-manufactured crisis in Manipur. However, his home minister has found the time to campaign in the state today, and we hope he takes the initiative to answer a few questions on behalf of the PM,” Ramesh said in a post on X.
Since 3 May, 2023, when large-scale violence broke out in Manipur, the prime minister has not visited the state even once, he said.
“He (Modi) has not even given an appointment to, or taken a call from, the chief ministers, MLAs, or any other political representatives of the state. In fact, he has barely even acknowledged the crisis, barring a three-minute speech that he delivered when forced to by the opposition,” Ramesh said.
In the meantime, Rahul Gandhi has visited the state twice to understand the situation and extend solidarity to the people of Manipur, he said.
What explains the prime minister’s refusal to engage with this issue, “indifference or cowardice,” he asked.
Ramesh said that the situation in Manipur “verges on that of a civil war,” with a complete breakdown of all law and order.
“More than 200 people have been killed, more than 60,000 displaced, and thousands of weapons have been stolen from the state police. BSF soldiers have been shot at, policemen have been killed, and mobs have stormed into and burned down government offices,” he said.
On 11 March, Khwata Khunou, the last Meitei village in Manipur to have withstood the violence, was burned to the ground, he said.
“Even the Supreme Court has observed that there has been an ‘absolute breakdown of constitutional machinery’ in the state. Despite this evident collapse in administration, the Congress party’s demand for the dismissal of the Biren Singh government in Manipur has not been met. Why is the prime minister protecting Biren Singh? Is it indifference to the reality of Manipur, or is it a tacit endorsement of the violence?” Ramesh said.
He said that the reality of the large-scale violence and collapse of administration in Manipur has become front-page news across the world.
“When the world is witnessing this level of anarchy in an Indian state, how does the Propoganda ke Papa justify his claims to being a ‘Vishwaguru’ who has enhanced India’s stature on the global stage?” the Congress leader said.
“If he has stopped the war in Ukraine, why could he not stop the civil war-like situation in Manipur?” Ramesh said.
In late March, several Kuki youths and women decided to boycott elections to the Outer Manipur Lok Sabha constituency to protest the system’s failure to ensure their “protection, dignity, and rights,” he pointed out.
“What is the PM doing to preserve this last semblance of Indian democracy – the act of voting – in Manipur?” Ramesh said.
“Even amidst all the anarchy, the BJP’s Rajya Sabha member in Manipur, Sanajaoba Leishemba, from the erstwhile royal family of Manipur princely state, has been declaring himself the ‘Maharaja of Manipur’ on his official letterhead as a member of Parliament. The title blatantly violates Article 18 of the Indian Constitution, which effectively abolishes all feudal titles,” he said.
Do the PM or the home minister approve of this title? Ramesh asked.
“Why haven’t they put an end to this practice?” hesaid, and asked the prime minister to break his “silence” on these issues.
The Congress has slammed the BJP-led Centre for its handling of the Manipur situation and demanded that the Biren Singh-led government be dismissed. (PTI)