Centre supporting Manipur, situation ‘returning to normal’: MoS Pramanik

Guwahati: The Centre is providing all support to Manipur, which has been hit by deadly ethnic violence, and the situation is “returning to normal”, Union Minister Nisith Pramanik said on Monday.

The remarks of the minister of state for home affairs come on a day Union Home Amit Shah begins his four-day visit to the the northeastern state.

Shah will hold several rounds of security meetings to assess the situation and plan steps to restore normalcy during his first visit to the state since the ethnic clashes between the Kuki and the Meitei communities broke out on May 3.

“The situation is returning to normal. The Centre supports all states and it is also supporting Manipur,” Pramanik, the BJP MP from West Bengal’s Cooch Behar, told PTI onboard the Guwahati-New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat on its inaugural run.

When asked about Shah’s visit, he said it is a step towards normalisation of the situation.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday said nearly 40 armed militants allegedly involved in torching houses and firing at civilians have been killed by security forces since they began an operation to bring peace to the northeastern state.

Hitting out at the Opposition for boycotting the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, Pramanik asked, “How long will you (Opposition) boycott? I urge everybody to come together for the development of the country. The Opposition is not a child, it should not be stubborn.”

Twenty-one Opposition parties boycotted the event, including the Congress, the TMC and the Samajwadi Party, contending that President Droupadi Murmu should have inaugurated the building rather than the PM.

On the Guwahati-New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express service, he said it will boost tourism and make New Jalpaiguri a tourism hub. He also referred to the citiy’s proximity to prominent tourists destinations Darjeeling and the Dooars.

“Now, the Vande Bharat has made New Jalpaiguri (NJP) closer to Guwahati,” the minister said.

Noting that West Bengal now has three Vande Bharat trains — Puri-Howrah, Howrah-NJP and Guwahati-NJP — Pramanik said, which form a tourist circuit.

Development and connectivity projects under the Narendra Modi government have connected the country and also raised it stature globally, he said.

Taking a dig at the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he said she makes promises like “turning Darjeeling into Switzerland” but the actual work on connecting North Bengal and the northeast to the country has been done by the BJP government at the Centre.