Congress snubs PM’s Manipur remarks

Says situation in Northeast state still tense, contrary to Modi’s claim
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress MP Sonia Gandhi, NCP (SP) MP Sharad Pawar stage a walkout during PM’s speech on Wednesday.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress MP Sonia Gandhi, NCP (SP) MP Sharad Pawar stage a walkout during PM’s speech on Wednesday.Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Wednesday stepped up its attack on the government on the Manipur issue after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a statement in Rajya Sabha that violence has been on a decline in the state and the Centre is committed to bringing normalcy.

Questioning PM’s claims, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the situation is still tense in the northeastern state and Modi hasn’t visited the state since violence erupted last year.

“Today in Rajya Sabha, after months of absolute silence on the issue, the non-biological PM made the astounding claim that the situation in Manipur is normal. In actuality, the situation is still tense as the MP from Inner Manipur pointed out in Lok Sabha on 1st July,” Ramesh said, adding that the President’s Address was also silent on the issue. “And the non-biological Pradhan Mantri has still not visited Manipur since it erupted on the night of May 3rd, 2023…” he said..

INDIA bloc has alleged that the Modi government is turning a blind eye towards the North Eastern state. In his more than two-hour speech replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address, Modi was faced with slogan-shouting on Manipur.

Modi broke his silence on the issue in Rajya Sabha and accused the Opposition of politicising the issue. Modi reminded the Congress that the state had seen President’s rule 10 times in the past.

Countering PM’s claims, Ramesh said Manipur has been burning since May 3, 2023. “What PM has said about Manipur in Rajya Sabha is completely opposite to the reality. There is tension between different communities, there has been violence... In February 2022, BJP and its allies got more than two-thirds of the votes and in just 15 months, Manipur started burning... Till date the Prime Minister has not visited Manipur...” he said.

Addressing media, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said that though Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi had demanded that its MP from Outer Manipur, Alfred Arthur, be allowed to speak, he was not given permission. The first-time Congress MP from Inner Manipur expressed anguish over absence of any reference to ethnic violence-hit Manipur in the President’s address.

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