In a recent statement, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed optimism about the prevailing situation in strife-torn Manipur, emphasizing that the conditions are rapidly improving and are expected to further stabilize within the next week or 10 days. Taking a swipe at the Congress, Sarma accused the party of shedding crocodile tears, noting their silence during the peak of the ethnic conflict.
Sarma, known as the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) key troubleshooter in the region, made these remarks just a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi concluded his two-day visit to Manipur. Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar also joined in the criticism, calling Gandhi's visit "vulture tourism" and accusing him of exploiting places where people are suffering rather than addressing the underlying issues that have plagued those societies for decades, according to NDTV reports.
Addressing the Congress's response, Sarma stated, "They should have cried when there was a volatile situation. At that time, they neither went to Manipur nor commented on it. Now, Manipur is almost limping back to normalcy, and now they are talking about it." He further guaranteed that the situation in Manipur has significantly improved compared to a month ago, attributing this progress to the silent efforts of the Home Ministry and the Manipur government.
Responding to the criticisms, Rahul Gandhi, after meeting Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey, reiterated his party's commitment to extend full cooperation in restoring peace and tranquility to the state, with the aim of preserving its historical legacy of coexistence.
However, the ongoing tensions between the Kukis, predominantly residing in the hills, and the Meiteis, the dominant lowland community, continue to result in sporadic incidents of violence and arson. Since the clashes erupted in early May, more than 100 people have lost their lives, and over 40,000 individuals have been displaced. Despite the heavy presence of security forces in various parts of the remote state, these incidents persist, amplifying the challenges faced by the authorities in maintaining stability along the border with Myanmar.