Disgraceful for BJP to claim that PM Modi saved Manipur: Jairam Ramesh

The Opposition has long questioned Modi's apparent inability to visit Manipur ever since violence erupted in the state nearly a year ago

PM Narendra Modi at an election rally (photo: PTI)
PM Narendra Modi at an election rally (photo: PTI)

NH Political Bureau

In an attack against the BJP and the Central government over the ethnic violence in Manipur and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's apparent inability to visit the state even once, Congress MP and general-secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh has termed it "disgraceful" that the BJP can claim that PM Modi 'saved' Manipur.

In a post on X on Monday, Ramesh wrote, "It is disgraceful and shameless for the BJP to claim that the PM has saved Manipur. Hundreds of people have been killed, and lakhs displaced. An atmosphere of fear and intimidation prevails, and communities are living apart.

"The PM has not made a visit to the state in 11 months, nor has he spoken about it, except for three minutes. He has not even met the Chief Minister or MLAs or MPs from the state. The violence was the result of the politics of division and polarisation that the BJP excels in. This is the reality of Manipur."

Earlier in the day, in an interview to the Assam Tribune, PM Modi claimed that there had been a "marked improvement" in the situation in Manipur owing to the timely intervention of the Centre and state government.

He also claimed that the past decade of BJP governance at the Centre has been dedicated to transforming the Northeast from an "abandoned region" to an "abundant region".

Speaking specifically on the Manipur situation and the Opposition's criticism of the issue, the prime minister said it was a "collective responsibility" to deal with the situation sensitively.

"I have already spoken about this in Parliament. We have dedicated our best resources and administrative machinery to resolving the conflict. Because of the timely intervention of the government of India and efforts by the Manipur government, there has been a marked improvement in the situation of the state," he said.

On 9 March, as Modi took a tour of Kaziranga National Park in Assam, Ramesh had once again asked what was preventing the prime minister from visiting Manipur, saying it has been in a "state of virtual civil war" for nearly a year. "Hundreds of people have died in widespread violence, lakhs have been displaced, communities are at war with each other, and the administration has collapsed," he said.

The ethnic violence in Manipur came to the nation's attention in early May 2023, following a solidarity march organised by the state's tribal groups to protest the inclusion of the majority non-tribal Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes category. Since then, it is estimated that over 200 people have lost their lives in clashes between Meitei and Kuki groups, and thousands have fled to temporary shelters.

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