Cong accuses BJP of colluding with ‘militant organisations’ in Manipur to win polls, seeks NIA probe

New Delhi:  The Congress on Thursday accused the BJP of colluding with “militant organisations” in Manipur to win elections and demanded that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe their alleged links.

The Opposition party also reiterated its demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit Manipur and also an all-party delegation be taken there.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar alleged that the BJP had taken help of the United Kuki Liberation Front, an organisation which is under Suspension of Operation (SOO) with the Centre and state government, in elections.

Assembly elections are underway in Manipur and the second phase is slated on March 5. The first phase of polling was held on February 28.

“In a shocking violation of the Model of Conduct the Union Home Ministry and BJP State Government in Manipur released Rs 15.7 crores on 1.2.22 and further Rs 92.7 lakhs on 1.3.22 to banned militant groups under Suspension of Operation (SoO). This has made a mockery of elections in 4 districts!” Ramesh said on Twitter.

Ramesh, who is the senior observer of the Congress for the Manipur elections, also shared a statement that alleged that these payments have ensured that polls in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts in the first phase have not been free, fair and peaceful.

“These bribes to SoO groups will also influence the elections in Tengnoupal and Chandel districts in Phase 2. This is how the BJP is buying elections in Manipur, spreading fear and intimidating voters. This is how the BJP is indulging in corruption to remain in power,” the statement said.

“It shows the priorities of the double-engine BJP government that these payments have taken place when majority state government employees have not received salaries for two months, when mid-day meal cooks have not been paid for 18 months, when majority of the former state government employees have not received their pensions in the last six months, when almost all pensioners have not received their retirement benefits,” it also said.

The Congress had earlier accused Union Home Minister Amit Shah of drafting a statement issued by a proscribed Kuki militant organisation asking the people of Manipur to vote for the BJP, and demanded repoll in two districts alleging that voting was not free and fair in the first phase.

Ramesh claimed that the sporadic incidents of violence reported from Kangpokpi and Churachandpur districts during polling were the result of the influence of Kuki National Organisation’s (KNO) statement.