BJP ‘interested in prolonging conflict’: Cong on Manipur violence

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday stepped up its attack on the government over the situation in violence-hit Manipur, saying that “every passing day of neglect” confirms the belief that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP are “interested in prolonging the conflict”.

The Congress’ attack came a day after it demanded that an all-party delegation be allowed to visit the state.

On Monday, leaders of 10 like-minded Opposition parties from Manipur, including Congress leaders from the state, had an in-depth discussion on the situation in the state. They met at AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh’s official residence here while waiting for an appointment with the prime minister.

In a tweet, Ramesh said, “Today one group of BJP MLAs from Manipur met the Raksha Mantri. Today another group of BJP MLAs from Manipur went to submit a memorandum to the PM, which said that the people had completely lost faith in the state administration — essentially saying the CM has to be replaced. He did not see them of course.” “The BJP itself in Manipur is not united. That is why the state is bitterly divided today. And the PM simply does not care!” Ramesh alleged.

Attacking the government over the Manipur situation, Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal said, “Manipur is burning for 49 days. On Day 50, will PM @narendramodi fly away to foreign lands, without uttering a single word on the ongoing crisis?” “Hundreds dead, thousands rendered homeless, countless churches and places of worship destroyed, and a state administration that is part of the problem, not the solution. To make matters even worse, the violence is now spreading to Mizoram as well,” the Congress leader said on Twitter.

For the past many days, Manipuri leaders have been seeking time from Prime Minister Modi to ensure his intervention, Venugopal said.

“Every passing day of neglect confirms the belief that PM Modi and the BJP are interested in prolonging the conflict, not finding a solution,” he charged.

Taking a jibe at Modi, the Congress leader asked when will the “self-styled vishwaguru” listen to “Manipur Ki Baat”.

Posing further questions, he said, “When will he (Prime Minister Modi) speak to the country, to make a simple call for peace? When will he demand accountability from the Union Home Minister and the Manipur CM for their total failure in bringing peace?” In a Facebook post, Manipur Congress alleged that Prime Minister Modi is “avoiding” meeting anyone from Manipur over the ongoing turmoil in the state.

“In Delhi, BJP MLAs from Manipur are divided. Their division within the party, BJP, is adding fuel to the burning fire in Manipur. At this critical juncture of Manipur, what will the people of Manipur expect from BJP MLAs when they are not even united within themselves to save Manipur?” the Manipur Congress said.

More than 100 people have lost their lives in the violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur that broke out over a month ago.

Ten opposition parties of Manipur led by the Congress had on Saturday questioned the “silence” of Prime Minister Modi, urging him to meet them and make an appeal for peace.

Clashes first broke out in Manipur on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals – Nagas and Kukis – constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.