Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee President Keisham Meghachandra has expressed his doubts regarding the ability of the state government to effectively address the ongoing unrest in Manipur. In a press conference held at Congress Bhavan in Imphal on Thursday evening, Meghachandra strongly criticized Chief Minister N Biren Singh led incumbent government, labeling them as the weakest in the political history of Manipur.
During the press conference held at Congress Bhavan in Imphal, Meghachandra highlighted the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) recent meeting in Guwahati, which aimed to strategize for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha polls. He deemed the meeting irrelevant and accused the BJP of sidestepping discussions about the critical situation in Manipur. Meghachandra emphasized that organizing such a meeting was inappropriate given the crisis gripping the state.
One of the major points of contention raised by Meghachandra was the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the violence unfolding in Manipur. The state has experienced significant loss of life, widespread destruction of homes, and the displacement of over 50,000 people. Expressing deep concern, Meghachandra lamented the Prime Minister’s silence, questioning his priorities, citing instances of engaging in cabinet meetings and election campaigning in other states instead of addressing the plight of the people in Manipur.
Expressing his frustration over Mr. Modi’s perceived indifference to Manipur and prioritization of other states, Meghachandra, who is also an MLA of the Wangkhem assembly constituency, raised the question of the significance of Indian citizenship, saying, “What is the meaning of citizens of India? Here, our children are displaced, and thousands of houses have been torched. At this crucial junction, if they are discussing political strategy for the election, what’s the need for Manipur to be a part of India? This is the question people are raising. Our political party, the Congress, is asking.”
Expressing grave concerns about the government’s inability to restore normalcy, Meghachandra stated, “Under this government, we are all going to die. This is the weakest government I have ever seen in my life and in the political history of Manipur.”
He further criticized the unified command and the government, saying: “This weak government. The unified command is not in the hand of the state government but with the central government. Then, what’s the need of having a state government and governance? Are we under the democratic system? These questions have erupted. That’s why we are skeptical of these political game plans that have been unfolding.”
Meghachandra asserted that the Congress party has refrained from politicizing the current crisis in Manipur. He emphasized their continuous efforts to initiate peace and seek assistance from central leaders. However, he expressed disappointment over discussions about election strategies during such a critical situation. He suggested that this focus on the upcoming elections validates people’s perception that the turmoil in Manipur is part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s game plan. Meghachandra characterized this situation as unfortunate, as it diverts attention away from the immediate concerns and hardships faced by the people.
Commenting on the recent visit of Congress senior leader Rahul Gandhi to Manipur, Meghachandra accused the BJP of criticizing the visit during their meeting in Guwahati. He defended Gandhi’s visit, highlighting that it was solely intended to assess the conditions and empathize with the pain and sorrow of both communities affected by the unrest. Gandhi refrained from making any political statements and instead appealed to the government and the Hon’ble Governor to provide necessary care for the injured and displaced individuals. Meghachandra strongly condemned the BJP’s act of criticizing Gandhi’s visit in their meeting.
Meghachandra shed light on the hardships faced by the people of Manipur and emphasized the urgent need for the state government to find a solution. He criticized the government’s failure to address the issue, which has persisted for over two months, resulting in a paralyzed state with halted activities in every sector. The soaring prices of essential commodities and the prevailing unrest have caused immense hardships for the people.
Furthermore, Meghachandra highlighted the negative consequences of the internet ban, including communication gaps, disruptions to student’s online work, hindered banking services, and adverse effects on businesses and job opportunities. He expressed dismay over the BJP’s focus on election strategies and their criticism of the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, and his peace mission, deeming it immature in light of the current circumstances.
In his concluding remark, Meghachandra reiterated the Congress Party’s condemnation of the BJP’s meeting, which allegedly failed to address the issue in Manipur. He expressed deep disappointment over the absence of discussions on how to quell the violence, alleviate the hardships faced by the displaced, and aid those suffering in relief camps. Meghachandra emphasized the unfortunate nature of this situation in the present context.