In the highly anticipated all-party meeting held on Saturday evening in Delhi, the Congress party has alleged that its representative, three-time Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, was not given sufficient time to present the party’s perspectives on the ongoing turmoil in the state. Ibobi expressed his disappointment in a press conference following the meeting, stating that he had only been allotted a meager 7-8 minutes to share his views. He further mentioned that he had requested an additional five minutes to express his opinions, but the request was denied.
The state of Manipur continues to grapple with persistent violence and unrest, as the government’s efforts to restore peace have proven ineffective. Not even the visit of Home Minister Amit Shah could quell the turmoil engulfing the region. With over 50 days of continuous violence, the all-party meeting aimed to address the situation, bringing together prominent leaders from various political parties, including the BJP, Congress, Shiv Sena, Trinamool Congress, Mizo National Front, BJD, AIADMK, DMK, RJD, Samajwadi Party, and AAP.
Echoing Ibobi’s sentiments, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh criticized the meeting, dismissing it as a mere formality. Ramesh emphasized that Ibobi was the only leader from Manipur present at the all-party meeting, and he regarded the lack of opportunity to fully express his point of view as an insult not just to the former Chief Minister and the Congress party but also to the people of Manipur.
The Congress party had previously voiced its dissatisfaction with the meeting, deeming it “too little, too late.” Congress leader K.C. Venugopal emphasized, “After 50 days of death and destruction in Manipur, the Home Minister’s call for an all-party meeting is insufficient and belated. The government only took action after Sonia Gandhi ji’s address to the people of Manipur.”
Earlier, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also expressed frustration with Prime Minister Modi’s silence on the matter. In a tweet, Gandhi pointed out that Manipur had been engulfed in flames for 50 days, yet the Prime Minister remained silent. He further criticized the timing of the all-party meeting, noting that it was called while the Prime Minister was out of the country, suggesting that it was not a priority for him. Despite the conclusion of the meeting, no reports have indicated any fruitful results that could alleviate the prevailing law and order crisis in Manipur.
Manipur has been gripped by a state of turmoil and violence since May 3, following a rally organized by the All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) in protest against a Manipur High Court order. The court had directed the state government to send a recommendation to the Centre regarding the demand to include the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes (STs) list. The wave of unrest has resulted in over 100 deaths and the destruction of thousands of homes.
The situation in Manipur calls for immediate attention and prompt action from both the state and central governments. It is crucial for all stakeholders to collaborate and find a lasting solution that restores peace and stability to the region. Comprehensive and inclusive measures must be taken to address the grievances and concerns of all communities, paving the way for peaceful coexistence in Manipur. Only through sincere dialogue and concerted efforts can the state move forward from this tumultuous period and rebuild a harmonious society.