Manipur govt denies permission for Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, Congress says 'unfortunate'

The BJP-led Manipur government denies permission for Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra citing security concerns, Congress says the yatra will proceed as scheduled

Mallikarjun Kharge (left) and K.C. Venugopal launch the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra logo
Mallikarjun Kharge (left) and K.C. Venugopal launch the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra logo

NH Political Bureau

The BJP-led Manipur government has denied permission for Rahul Gandhi’s 66-day Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra citing the current security situation in the state. Reacting to the refusal, the Congress said the yatra will kick off from Imphal as per schedule.

Addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters in Delhi, party general-secretary K.C. Venugopal said there is tremendous energy on the ground for the yatra.

"Various states are fully prepared to make the yatra a success. This yatra is going to be a historic event. It is not a political yatra but an endeavour to seek justice for the people of this country," said Venugopal.

Speaking to media in Imphal, Manipur Congress chief K. Megachandra said, "We met chief minister N. Biren Singh and sought permission for the venue of Hatta Kangjeibung in Imphal East district, from where the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra is scheduled to be flagged off. However, the chief minister has declined to allow the same."

The state Congress party had officially submitted an application on 2 January, seeking permission to commence the rally on 14 January from Hatta Kangjeibung ground.

But the Biren Singh government remained unresponsive to the request, following which a delegation from the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) led by Meghachandra Singh met the chief minister on Wednesday.

"It was conveyed that the chief minister has declined to grant 'ground permission' for launching the rally. The sole reason cited was the fragile law and order situation," Meghachandra Singh said, calling the decision “unfortunate" and a “violation of people's rights".

On Tuesday, chief minister Biren Singh had said the matter (permission for the yatra) is under "active consideration," and a decision will be taken after receiving reports from security agencies.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of an event, Biren Singh mentioned that the law and order situation in Manipur is "very critical."

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge is scheduled to flag off the programme in the presence of chief ministers of Congress-ruled states and senior leaders of the party.

It is worth noting here that a fresh exchange of fire has been reported between Manipur Police and militants in Moreh town along the Indo-Myanmar border on Monday. According to officials, militants reportedly targeted security forces when they were moving through certain pockets of Moreh town.

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