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BJP responsible for Manipur violence, PM must focus on restoring peace: Cong


Published on: May 4, 2023 | Updated on: May 4, 2023

File photo of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. (Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI:  The Congress on Thursday alleged "Manipur is burning" as the BJP has created fissures among communities with its "politics of hate", as Rahul Gandhi called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to focus on restoring peace and normalcy in the state.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge appealed to the people of Manipur to exercise restraint and let peace prevail.

"Manipur is burning. BJP has created fissures among communities and destroyed the peace of a beautiful state," Kharge said on Twitter.

"BJP's politics of hate, division and its greed for power is responsible for this mess. We appeal to people from all sides to exercise restraint and give peace a chance," he said.

In a tweet, Gandhi said he was deeply concerned about Manipur's rapidly deteriorating law and order situation.

"The Prime Minister must focus on restoring peace and normalcy. I urge the people of Manipur to stay calm," he said.

In a video statement, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the BJP got a resounding mandate in Manipur in 2021, a double-engine government was installed in 2022 but less than 15 months later "the entire state is in flames".

"The society is in foment, internet and social media is suspended, the chief minister is under siege, MLAs resigning right, left and centre and what the prime minister and the home minister doing, they are busy going around polarising Karnataka," Ramesh alleged.

"It is really tragic what has happened in Manipur. All sections of Manipur's diverse society are unhappy, up in flames, youths dissatisfied, tribals dissatisfied, non-tribal communities dissatisfied. This is a betrayal of the people's mandate," he said.

Ramesh called for sternest action to restore peace, normalcy and tranquillity in the state.

He also alleged the Congress cadres and leaders as well as critics of the chief minister "were being attacked" in the state.

"How long can the country see this insensitivity to the suffering of the people of Manipur. I feel very very anguished and pained by what is happening," he said.

In a tweet along with his statement, Ramesh said, "The reality of the 'Double-Engine' Government: Set fire to the State. Stay silent at the Centre. In less than 15 months of BJP forming govt, the entire state of Manipur is in flames. But HM Shah and CryPM Modi are busy campaigning in Karnataka."

Several columns of the Army and Assam Rifles had to be hurriedly deployed overnight to contain large-scale rioting that broke out across Manipur between tribals and the majority Meitei community, displacing over 9,000 people.

Clashes broke out on Wednesday which intensified overnight with counter-attacks being mounted by rival communities in retaliation to earlier attacks, after Naga and Kuki tribals organised a 'Tribal Solidarity March'.

So far, 9,000 people were rescued by the forces from the violence-hit areas, and given shelter, a defence spokesperson said on Thursday, adding that more people are being shifted to safer places.

The Army and Assam Rifles were requisitioned Wednesday night, and along with the state police, the forces contained the violence by the morning, the spokesperson said.