New Delhi, August 9
The Lok Sabha on Wednesday adopted a resolution for peace in Manipur, appealing to the Meitei and Kuki communities to hold talks even as Union Home Minister Amit Shah termed the spiral of violence in the northeastern state shameful and its politicisation even more shameful.
Speaking on Manipur for the first time since the eruption of the May 3 clashes that have so far killed 152, Shah said ethnic clashes were “driven by circumstances with the state High Court’s order to grant the tribal status to Meiteis adding fuel to fire”.
“The HC suddenly revived a pending petition and ordered grant of tribal status to Meiteis before April 29 without asking for an affidavit from the Centre, state government or the National ST Commission,” Shah said, assuring the House of early restoration of peace and adding that he was personally monitoring the situation and so was Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Noting that the maximum communal and ethnic clashes in India happened under the tenures of late PMs Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Shah slammed Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for “playing politics on Manipur violence”.
“No one had stopped Rahul from going to Churachandpur when he came to Manipur, but he insisted on travelling by road. All day there was live drama of satyagraha and the next day, he went by air. This politics should never be played...When in the Opposition, we never linked riots to parties,” Shah said, intervening in the debate on the no-confidence motion which he peppered with a range of discussion points from factors that led to Manipur fires to pro-poor governance under Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, he said, “is the most popular PM post-independence, one who works all days for 17 of 24 hours and one who enjoys the complete confidence of people”.
Shah, in a jibe at Rahul, said, “One leader has had 13 failed political launches, including one where he spoke of a poor Bundelkhand woman, Kalavati. I want to ask what happened to Kalavati. The fact is Kalavati was given a house, power connection, toilet, health cover by PM Modi. The Opposition may lack confidence in the Modi government but people of India do not, even Kalavati has confidence in our government”.
Tracing insecurities in Manipur to the return of military rule in Myanmar in 2021 followed by steady rise in immigration of Kukis from Myanmar to Manipur, Shah said as immigration rose and the Centre commenced border fencing followed by identification of immigrants, unrest grew.
Shah questioned the timing of the viral sexual assault video (on the eve of the monsoon session) saying if anyone had it, they should have given it to the DGP for action rather than compromise the dignity of assault survivors by making it public.
He also ruled out the resignation of Manipur CM N Biren Singh saying a “CM is removed only if he is not cooperating; Manipur CM is cooperating as the Centre has already replaced the Chief Secretary, DGP and posted a new security adviser”.
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