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Centre’s Priority Is To Bring Peace In Manipur By Taking All Communities On Board: Shah

Shah listed what development works the BJP government has done for Manipur, such as national highways and a medical college.

PTI
Centre’s Priority Is To Bring Peace In Manipur By Taking All Communities On Board: Shah Photo: PTI
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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that the BJP-led central government’s priority is to establish peace in the ethnic strife affected Manipur and ruled out any division of the northeastern state.

This Lok Sabha election is between forces trying to break Manipur and those keeping it united, Shah said at a public meeting in Imphal.

"No matter how hard anyone tries, we will not let anyone divide Manipur," he said.

The senior BJP leader claimed that attempts of infiltration were being made in the northeastern state to change its demography.

“Establishment of peace in Manipur by taking all communities on board and without breaking the state is the priority of the Narendra Modi government," Shah said.

At least 219 people were killed after ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur on May 3 last year, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

The destiny of the country will change when that of the northeast and Manipur will change, he added.

 “The Congress has an agenda to divide Manipur. But I want to say no one has the courage to divide Manipur,” he said.

“This election is to make Modi the prime minister for the third time. This election is not between the Congress and the BJP but between forces who talk about breaking Manipur and who want to keep Manipur united,” Shah said.

The union minister alleged that the Congress wants to divide the country into North and South.

“The Congress says what will happen by going to small states but these small states are the soul of the country. Congress never honoured Manipur and kept the state under blockade for thousands of days. Not just bandhs, fake encounters were also conducted by the Ibobi Singh government," Shah said.

Okram Ibobi Singh of the Congress was the chief minister of the northeastern state between 2012 and 2017 before N Biren Singh of the BJP took charge.

"I want to tell this today that our (CM) Biren Singh may not say this, but he kept a big demand before PM Modi - Manipur cannot remain united without the Inner Line Permit (ILP). The BJP government has strengthened Manipur by giving Inner Line Permit."

The ILP is a travel document required by people to visit states where it is in force. The ILP regime came into effect in Manipur on January 1, 2020.

The Congress never respected Manipur Maharaja Kulachandra Dhwaja Singh, who was exiled to Andaman islands by the British, Shah said adding that Narendra Modi honoured him and other freedom fighters of the state by renaming Mt Harriet in the archipelago as Mt. Manipur.

Modi has taken up the job of freeing the northeast from militancy and separatism, he said.

In the last ten years, the prime minister has made the country secure, Shah said.

He said that a large number of people were killed in earlier ethnic conflicts in the region.

“More than 700 people were killed in the Kuki Naga conflict. The Kuki-Paite clashes claimed over 300 lives. In the clashes between Meiteis and Pangals, 100 people were killed," he said.

On illegal immigrants from Myanmar who were blamed by the government as one of the causes of the present ethnic violence in the state, Shah said, "I know there has been intrusion to change the demography of this state. The Modi government has decided to fence the Myanmar border to keep Manipur secure as well as to cancel Free Movement Regime (FMR)."

The FMR was also ended to prevent the trafficking of drugs and illegal infiltration, the union minister said.

In the last six years, no violence has happened in Manipur, he said.

“We will hold talks with those who had done it (violence) and those who were affected," Shah said.

He wondered what the Congress had given to the state except for “loot, protests, blockades and bandhs”.

Shah listed what development works the BJP government has done for Manipur, such as national highways and a medical college.

"The amount of funds the Modi government has given for the progress of Manipur is four times that of what the Congress gave,” he said.

Shah also pledged that in the next five years, everyone in Manipur will have a house with all facilities such as toilets, electricity and water connection and LPG.

He appealed to the people to vote for BJP candidates in the Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur Lok Sabha constituencies.

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