government on Wednesday gave a conditional approval of the venue for launch of the Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra at Hapta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound in Imphal East which it refused.
Preparations are already afoot to hold the rally launch near Khongjom War Memorial in Thoubal district.
Chief Minister N Biren has on Wednesday reportedly turned down the permission to use the Hapta Kangjeibung ground for Congress party’s most awaited and its one of the biggest rally “Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra” which aimed to span the breadth of the country with Manipur as the initial destination.
The development comes after a team of MPCC led by its president K Meghachandra called on the chief minister at his secretariat in Imphal.
According to a letter issued to the DC of Imphal East by the joint secretary of the Home Department in regards to the ground permission, the Home Department has allowed only flagging off of the yatra with a limited number of participants with the number and names of the participants taken in advance.
However, the Congress party is planning the yatra with a stage to be set for around 300 national leaders with over 100 MPs and CMs of other states amidst participants over thousands of public.
Expressing disappointment over the denial of the permission for the ground, the MPCC president, while speaking to the media after meeting the chief minister, levelled the decision of the state BJP government as a suppression of the people’s rights.
Moreover, denial of the permission over the law and order situation has contradicted the statement of the chief minister himself who declared that law and order has improved in Manipur, he added.
Meghachandra maintained that the yatra is not a a political endeavour, but a peaceful, democratic and a constitutional rally for justice of all without any disturbances or criticisms of the government.
The yatra will be attended by chief ministers and MPs from across the nation without using a single party’s flag, he said, adding, “Denial for ground clearance has indeed proof the crucial need of the Nyay Yatra in the state which seeks justice for the youth, women, farmers, the poor and all.”
The president, however, assured that the yatra will carry on as per the schedule with the people of Manipur. He hinted of using a private land opposite the historic Khongjom War Memorial in Thoubal district as the location for launching the yatra and preparation will be started immediately in full swing to make the yatra a grand success.
AICC secretary Szarita Laitphlang, in the morning, before getting the clear-cut status on the ground clearance, took stock of the Hapta Kangjeibung ground in Imphal East. On Tuesday, a team led by AICC general secretary (Org) KC Venugopal and AICC Manipur in-charge Girish Chodankar had also taken stoke of the ground.
Speaking to the media, Szarita questioned the government’s reluctance asking, “Why the state government so scared of the yatra? Why does the government want to hide the happening in Manipur while the whole world knows it?”
“All we want is to reach out to the people of Manipur, share their pain, stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Manipur for justice,” she stated.
Notably, CM Biren had previously downplayed the impact of the yatra which is to be led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, stating, “Rahul’s visit will not have any difference in Manipur. Let him come, but people will not support him, because whatever is happening today (referring to the present unrest in Manipur) is because of them.”
In regard to the yatra many leaders of AICC including its general secretary (org) KC Venugopal, AICC Manipur in-charge Girish Chodankar, secretary Szarita Laitphlang, social media (in-charge) Sumit Dubey has started camping in Imphal.
As per the letter for ground permit issued to the DC, it stated that the report of concerned agencies mentioned that the matter is sensitive and needs special attention at this juncture specially in the context of the prevailing law and order situation.
On the same day (January 14), a state function for commemoration of Armed Forces Veterans’ Day with the CM as chief guest will be conducted at 1st MR Banquet Hall with all senior ministers, MLAs, high ranking civil, police and security forces officers/officials, it added.