PM Modi should take cue from Rahul Gandhi and visit Manipur: Cong

Opposition party also demanded that PMModi hold an all-party meeting as the first one was convened under Amit Shah.

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take a cue from Rahul Gandhi and visit violence-hit Manipur to understand the pain of the people and said that it would seek a “specific reply” from the government on the situation in the state in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The opposition party also demanded that Prime Minister Modi hold an all-party meeting as the first one was convened under Home Minister Amit Shah.

Posting a video of his visit on Twitter, Gandhi said Manipur needs peace to heal and all must work towards it.

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“During my 2-day visit to the state, it broke my heart to see our brothers and sisters in pain. Peace is the only way forward, and we must all work towards it,” he said.

In a tweet, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said the prime minister “found time to congratulate the Indian football team for their spectacular win that made us all proud, but he continues to remain silent on Manipur”.

“There are three footballers from Manipur who proudly represent India. His silence hurts them as well,” he said.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said that the primary responsibility of any state government is law and order and to protect the life of its citizens. “I think the governments both in the state and at the Centre have failed to do that,” he alleged.

“The situation is still not normal in Manipur. There is a tremendous level of pain, grief, hatred and enmity felt by people belonging to all communities.

“They all feel let down…Now the bonds which have been broken in Manipur will take a long time to heal. The Congress is willing to be part of that healing process,” Gogoi said.

Speaking at the same presser, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar said the prime minister may have time in his schedule but no space in his heart for Manipur. If he “cannot visit Manipur, how dare he remain the PM of India,” Kumar said.

Gogoi said that it is to start that initial process of healing that Rahul Gandhi went to Manipur.

“We hope that the prime minister takes a cue and visits the state because it has been a mystery as to why the PM has completely avoided going to Manipur or talking about it,” the MP from Assam said.

The BJP had said that Gandhi’s visit would not help the situation in the state and he was only trying to take political benefit from the crisis.

Gogoi, who is the Congress’ deputy leader in Lok Sabha, also noted that the Parliament session is approaching.

“We want a specific reply from the government inside Parliament. We have also asked for accountability from the state government. We want to go beyond the drama and rhetoric as performed by Chief Minister N Biren Singh,” he said.

Arms and ammunition are still with the people and they have to be brought back, Gogoi said, adding that the Army and police are yet to do more.

“We want the prime minister to visit Manipur,” Gogoi said and alleged that the PM not speaking on the situation in the state could be due to “arrogance or obstinacy”.

In a scathing attack on the BJP, he alleged that it was only interested in protecting the corrupt and taxing the poor.

“They are treating the entire Northeast as an ATM, as a way of earning money, as a way of giving contracts to companies listed in the name of (leaders’) wives, brothers, sons…that is the only modus operandi,” he alleged.

“Like the East India Company came to loot wealth, that is what the BJP has done, it is just looting and plundering the wealth of the Northeast,” Gogoi alleged.

In his remarks, Kumar, who accompanied Gandhi on his visit to Manipur last week, said the former Congress president is the only national leader who went to violence-hit state, met the people suffering there and raised their issues with the governor.

“During Gandhi’s visit, we saw the acting of Manipur CM. In the BJP, there are wonderful actors. Biren Singh fixed an appointment thrice with the governor and then got his own people from his constituency to demand that he should not resign,” Kumar said.

“The chief minister also claimed that outside forces have interfered in Manipur and if that is the case why National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is not going there,” Kumar asked.

He also alleged that there was a “conspiracy” by the BJP to allow Gandhi to visit only the Kuki community relief camp in Churachandpur and not go to Moirang, where there was a Meitei camp, but he foiled all such efforts and went there.

Kumar also alleged that the BJP leaders “lied” that people stopped Gandhi and said that the locals tried to break the police barricade so that the Congress leader could visit all areas.

Gandhi had paid a two-day visit to Manipur last week and appealed for peace, saying “violence is no solution”.

He had also met Governor Anusuiya Uikey, members of civil society groups and victims of violence lodged in relief camps on the concluding day of his visit.

The Congress has alleged that the BJP and its “divisive politics” are responsible for the present situation in the state.

Nearly 120 people have died and more than 3,000 injured in the ethnic violence in Manipur since May 3.

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