The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on Tuesday asked the BJP-led government to prioritise peace restoration over political disputes.
The remarks came in response to the BJP’s mention of comments from former Congress personnel, where BJP Manipur leader E Johnson brought up statements made by Congress leaders from Nagaland and Mizoram to level charges against the Congress in the current crisis.
Speaking to the media in Imphal, MPCC vice-president L Tilotama pointed out that several BJP members, including CM Biren and minister K Govindas, were former Congress personnel themselves and highlighted the need to focus on the real issues at hand rather than engaging in political rhetoric.
Tilotama criticised the government’s handling of the ongoing violence, attributing it to a lack of coordination and differences in tuning within the ruling “double engine” government.
She stated, “It seems like BJP doesn’t know on what channel they are in, during this ongoing crisis,” citing the demand for separate administration by eight BJP MLAs, including two cabinet ministers, and two other BJP-supporting MLAs.
The vice-president also questioned the BJP’s portrayal of the crisis as a “War on Drugs,” citing instances where drug lords were reportedly released and a police officer alleged CM Biren’s involvement in drug-related activities.
She called the government to apprise Defence Minister Rajnath if they are committed to their anti-drug effort, citing Rajnath’s readiness to provide IAF support for poppy plantation destruction if the state government requested it.
Tilotama also recalled Home Minister Amit Shah’s assurance during his last visit to Manipur to curb the crisis within 15 days, asking, “How many 15 days is Amit Shah referring to?”
The words of the government ‘we are working on to bring peace in Manipur’ have crossed four months, while there is total lawlessness in some hill districts and laws are applied only in some valley areas, she alleged.
Despite numerous failures of the government, the Congress is compromising it considering the restoration of peace as the need of the hour, she said, asking the BJP-led government to prioritise peace restoration and refrain from pointing fingers at the Congress who is fully committed to the state’s integrity.
Regarding the arrest of five village volunteers, Tilotama said it is a totally false move of the government.
As the government machineries failed to protect the civilians and safeguard Manipur, the village volunteers had come up to protect the civilians and Manipur. They should be set free without any condition as demanded by the public and CSOs, she added.