Kharge slams PM Modi over Manipur, demands 'incompetent' CM be sacked
In a post on X, the Congress leader also said the northeastern state has turned into a battlefield, and violence against women and children been weaponised
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the situation in Manipur and demanded that he sack the BJP's "incompetent" chief minister as a first step to controlling the turmoil.
In a post on X, the Congress leader also said the northeastern state has turned into a "battlefield" because of the BJP and violence against women and children has been weaponised.
His remarks came after a clash broke out in the Singjamei area of Imphal on Tuesday night between RAF personnel and locals protesting the killing of two students, who had been missing since 6 July. Security personnel lobbed teargas shells and fired rubber bullets at the protesters and lathi-charged them, leaving 45 injured, most of them students.
Manipur has been on edge since ethnic clashes broke out in the state on 3 May, when a tribal solidarity march was organised in the hill districts to protest the majority Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status.
"For 147 days, the people of Manipur have been suffering, but PM Modi does not have time to visit the state. The horrific images of students being targeted in this violence have once again shocked the entire nation," Kharge said.
"It is now apparent that violence against women and children was weaponised in this strife. The beautiful state of Manipur has been turned into a battlefield, all because of the BJP," he said.
"High time PM Modi sacks BJP's incompetent Manipur Chief Minister. This would be the first step to control any further turmoil," Kharge added.
In a post on its official X handle, the Congress party targeted Modi too, accusing him of bothering about his own image instead of Manipur.
Violence has been ongoing in Manipur for almost 150 days, hundreds of lives have been lost in the state and thousands of families have been rendered homeless, it said.
"The recent murder of two students who went missing in July has shocked the entire country. The situation in the state is not improving. In such a situation, the BJP government of the state should be dismissed immediately.
"It is also clear that PM Modi is not concerned about the people of Manipur, he is only concerned about his image. He is just busy with campaigning for elections," the Congress said in a post in Hindi.
Congress leader P Chidambaram said the situation in Manipur has gone from bad to worse and no section of the population has confidence in the state government or chief minister N Biren Singh.
"In fact, the CM is the problem because of his incompetence and bias. The first step toward restoring normalcy in Manipur is to remove the government and the chief minister," he said on X.
"I have learned that 2000 Meiteis staying in Senapati district were forcibly driven out the district. Ethnic cleansing has spread from the capital to the districts whether they are dominated by the Meiteis or the Kukis.
"The central government has switched off Manipur. It may have even lost count that 145 days have passed since the cycle of violence started on May 3, 2023," he said.
The Congress has been targeting the government over the Manipur violence and asking why the prime minister hasn't visited the strife-torn state yet.
The situation remained calm but tense in Imphal on Wednesday morning following last night's clash.
Manipur Police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and RAF personnel were seen deployed in strength throughout the Imphal Valley.
Although the state government has declared a holiday for schools on Wednesday, students of some Imphal-based institutions have vowed to congregate at their schools.