National Affairs

“Situation Very Serious” Opposition MPs After Manipur Visit

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Sunday made serious allegations against the central and state government after a delegation of the opposition alliance (INDIA) returned from a two-day visit to Manipur. 

Chowdhary said that there is uncertainty and fear prevailing in the state and the Center and the state governments are not taking any strong steps to deal with the very serious situation there. 

Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), a coalition of opposition parties, has asserted that the nearly three-month-old ethnic conflict in Manipur could lead to security problems for the country if it is not resolved soon.

Earlier in the day, a delegation of 21 MPs from ‘India’, a coalition of opposition parties, also met Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey at the Raj Bhavan in Imphal and submitted a memorandum on the current situation in the state related to their observations during the visit. There is fear and uncertainty in the minds of the people of Manipur, Chowdhary, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Congress, said reporters at the airport in New Delhi after his return from Manipur. 

The situation in Manipur is very serious. Uncertainty is looming large in Manipur, he said. Thousands of people have become homeless from their homes. They do not know when they will return to their homes. Farming has come to a standstill. That said, I don’t know how the divide between kuki and meitei will be bridged. Be it the central government or the state government, no strong steps have been taken by them. 

Notably , Manipur issue has rocked the monsoon session of Parliament and the opposition alliance is pressuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make a statement before the debate. While the opposition has now given notice for a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha. 

At the same time, the government has defended its handling of the situation in Manipur, insisting that it has been more proactive than previous governments when ethnic violence broke out in the state.

However, the opposition delegation said that the government machinery has completely failed to control the Manipur ethnic conflict and criticized the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

The opposition accused the prime minister of showing “blameless apathy” to the ongoing situation in the northeastern state. Quoting an old saying ‘Nero was playing the flute while Rome was burning’, Chowdhury said that “the whole of Manipur is burning and the PM is playing the flute”.

TMC leader Sushmita Dev said, I think the CM of Manipur (N Biren Singh) has completely lost faith. Common people and public are no longer supporting the CM of Manipur. 

In a memorandum submitted to Manipur Governor Uikey, the opposition MPs who signed the document demanded immediate rehabilitation of the affected people to bring peace and harmony in the state.

The memorandum said that the reports of continuous firing and arson of houses in the last few days have established beyond any doubt that the state machinery has completely failed to control the situation for the last nearly three months.

The delegation included Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary and Gaurav Gogoi, Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Sushmita Dev of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Mahua Maji of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Kanimozhi of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) PP Mohd Faizal of K, Jayant Chowdhary of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Manoj Kumar Jha of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), NK Premachandran of Revolutionary Socialist Party and T Thirumavalavan and D Ravikumar from VCK.

Rajeev Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh and Anil Prasad Hegde of Janata Dal (United), Sandosh Kumar of Communist Party of India (CPI), AA Rahim of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Javed Ali Khan of SP, ET Mohd Bashir of IUML, Am Sushil Gupta of Aadmi Party and Arvind Sawant of Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) were also part of the delegation.

Over 160 people have died in the caste violence that broke out in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organized in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. And several hundred people have been injured. 

Meiteis constitute about 53 per cent of the population of the northeastern state and live mainly in the Imphal Valley. Whereas tribals like Naga and Kuki form 40 per cent of the population and live mostly in the hilly districts

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