Centre has switched off engine of Constitutional responsibility  says Chidambaram

New Delhi : Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Wednesday questioned the Modi-led Central government about the situation in Manipur, and said, “the Centre has switched off the engine of Constitutional responsibility and thrown away the key.

Taking a swipe at the BJP governments at the Centre and in Manipur, Chidambaram said, “How long will it take for the Supreme Court’s indictment of the Manipur Government to reach PMO in Delhi and CMO in Imphal? If the chief minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh, has any sense of constitutional morality, he should quit immediately. Only those who practise rajdharma can preach rajdharma.

“The central government is like the driver of the police jeep who told the molested women ‘there is no key’. The central government has switched off the engine of Constitutional responsibility (Articles 355 and 356) and thrown away the key, ” the former Union minister said.

His remarks came after the Supreme Court on Tuesday came down heavily on the Centre and Manipur government. The court said that the state police “is incapable of investigation” and “there is no law and order left” in the northeastern state.

“The investigation is so lethargic. There has been a breakdown of constitutional machinery to the extent that FIR could not be registered. Maybe it is correct that the police could not arrest as it could not enter the locality. There was a complete breakdown of law and order machinery of the state, ” remarked a bench headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud questioning the delay in registration of FIRs and recording of statements of victims by the Manipur Police.

The top court summoned Manipur’s Director General of Police (DGP) on August 7, the next date of hearing.

The Supreme Court also raised questions over non-interrogation of the police officials who allegedly handed over the victims in the viral video to the mob, as per their statements recorded under section 161 CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code). “If law and order machinery cannot protect them then what happens to the people?, ” it asked.

Ethnic clashes erupted in Manipur on May 3 and since then hundreds of people have died while thousands have been forced to take refuge in the relief camps.

A delegation of INDIA bloc MPs, who visited Manipur on July 29 and 30, along with the floor leaders will meet President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday.