As Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra begins from Manipur, CM asks if it’s time for politics


PTI, Jan 14, 2024, 7:08 PM IST

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh (Source: PTI / File)

Imphal: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh questioned whether it is time for politics by holding rallies, as the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, led by Rahul Gandhi, commenced from the strife-torn state on Sunday.

Singh, who heads a BJP government in the northeastern state, also wondered if Gandhi came to Manipur to mess with the situation which is getting better.

Gandhi’s over two-month-long Yatra from the country’s east to west will culminate in Mumbai in March, after covering 110 districts.

”Given the current situation in the state, is it a time for politics by holding a rally? It is the time to protect lives and properties, and provide consolation,” the chief minister said while responding to media queries at the sideline of a programme in Imphal.

He alleged that it actually is ‘Bharat Todo’ (Break India) yatra and not ‘Bharat Jodo’ (Unite India).

“The situation is becoming better and we doubt if he (Gandhi) has come to mess with it. Whenever he comes, there is a problem. This time, Manipur is on alert. If he comes, we have to be on alert so that he does not mess with things,” Singh added.

Gandhi visited Manipur for two days in June last year, weeks after the violence broke out in the state, and met the affected people lodged in relief camps in several districts.

However, the police had stopped his convoy going to Churachandpur from Imphal, fearing violence along the route, leading to chaos for several hours. Finally, the Congress leader took a helicopter to reach Churachandpur.

More than 180 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in the northeastern state so far.

Clashes first broke out on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

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