Visit and listen: Rahul Gandhi urges PM Modi to address Manipur crisis

Congress MP tours relief camps housing displaced members of both the Meitei and Kuki-Zomi communities

Rahul Gandhi interacts with locals in Manipur (photo: @INCIndia/X)
Rahul Gandhi interacts with locals in Manipur (photo: @INCIndia/X)

NH Political Bureau

On his maiden visit to Manipur as leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to personally engage with the crisis-stricken state. Gandhi emphasised the need for Modi to spend time in Manipur, urging him to "take out a day or two to visit the state".

During his visit, Gandhi toured relief camps housing displaced members of both the Meitei and Kuki-Zomi communities, who have been in almost constant conflict with each other since May 2023. His message was clear: "I come here as your brother, as someone who wants to help bring peace back to Manipur."

Gandhi asserted that the Indian government and patriots must reach out and embrace Manipur's people to restore peace. Addressing the media, Gandhi directly appealed to the PM Modi: "Listen to the people of Manipur. Try and understand what is happening here. Manipur is a proud state of the Indian Union, and even without a tragedy, the prime minister should have visited. In this huge tragedy, I request the PM to spend a day or two to comfort the people of Manipur."

This is Gandhi's third visit to the state and the first after the recent Lok Sabha elections, in which Congress won both the seats from Manipur. "It’s the third time I’ve come here since the problem started. I was expecting some improvement, but the situation is still far from what it should be," he noted.

He also met Manipur governor Anusuiya Uikey at Raj Bhavan in state capital Imphal.

Gandhi's itinerary also included a stopover in Silchar, Assam, where he visited a relief camp housing displaced Kuki-Zo people. He also met displaced Meitei people in another camp before flying to Imphal and traveling to Churachandpur and Bishnupur districts.

Reflecting on his visits to the relief camps, Gandhi highlighted the pressing need for peace. "Violence is hurting everybody. Thousands of families have been harmed, property destroyed, and lives lost. The state is completely split in two. It is a tragedy for everyone involved."

Gandhi reiterated his commitment to the people of Manipur: "I come here as your brother, ready to do whatever I can to bring back peace. The Congress party is equally committed." His visit underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive approach to address Manipur's crisis, calling for unity and proactive governance.

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