PM Modi's claims on peace in Manipur astounding: Jairam Ramesh

Congress points out that PM Modi has still not visited Manipur since violence erupted in May last year

PM Modi speaks in the Rajya Sabha (photo: PTI)
PM Modi speaks in the Rajya Sabha (photo: PTI)

NH Political Bureau

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks on Manipur in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress on Wednesday said he made an "astounding claim" that the situation is normal there when the reality is far otherwise, and pointed out that he has still not visited the state since violence erupted in May last year.

The Opposition party's attack came after PM Modi said violence in Manipur is continuously declining and the schools have reopened in most parts of the state, and efforts are being made to ensure a return of complete peace. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Modi said the Centre was working with the state government and others to restore normalcy in the state.

In his reaction to the remarks, Congress MP and general-secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh said, "Today in the Rajya Sabha, after months of absolute silence on the issue, the non-biological PM made the astounding claim that the situation in Manipur is normal.

"In actuality, the situation is still tense as the MP from Inner Manipur pointed out in the Lok Sabha on 1 July. And the non-biological Pradhan Mantri has still not visited Manipur since it erupted on the night of May 3rd, 2023 -- nor has he met with the political leaders of the state. The President's Address too was silent on the issue," he said.

In a separate post on the Congress X handle, the party accused the BJP of "teaching a lesson about decorum by leaking the CCTV footage of the House and asked if "all the limits of decency are only for the opposition", referring to a clip of the Lok Sabha showing Inner Manipur Congress MP Bimol Akoijam, which several BJP-affiliated social media handles used throughout the day to accuse the Opposition of disrupting House proceedings.

Where was the decorum, the Congress asked, "When Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves Manipur to burn on its own, when the PM ignores Manipur in his 2 hour 14 minute speech?"

The party's post further stated, "The truth is that.. Yesterday, two MPs from Manipur were present in the Lok Sabha, who belonged to two different communities of Manipur. An MP from one community was given a chance to speak in the House, but the MP from the other community did not get a chance to speak. Therefore, the opposition MPs wanted that MPs from both the communities of Manipur should be given a chance to speak, this was the demand of the opposition."

In his reply to a debate on the motion to thank President Droupadi Murmu for her address to a joint sitting of Parliament, the prime minister said more than 500 people have been arrested and over 11,000 FIRs have been registered in Manipur.

Modi further said Manipur was facing a flood situation as well, and the Centre has dispatched two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to the state.

The Congress said the prime minister repeated his old allegations, cracked jokes, and took jibes, but did not have the patience to listen to the voice of an MP from the violence-hit state. The Opposition party also alleged the prime minister of "deliberately turning his back" to the plight of Manipur.

"On this issue, MPs from the Northeast stood up and the entire opposition stood with them because everyone knew that if only one MP from two communities got the opportunity to present his views, it would send a very wrong message.

"But BJP's media cell crossed all limits and tried to spread the propaganda that the opposition is not allowing the House to function. The real dignity of the opposition lies in raising the voice of the people fearlessly and without any fear, in fighting for the people and in standing by the truth," the Congress X post said.

Manipur was plunged into ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities in May last year. Since then, more than 200 people have been killed as per official data, while thousands have been displaced following large-scale arson that has gutted homes and government buildings.

With PTI inputs

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines