Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the recent violence in Manipur, saying that the PM has "not uttered a word" on the matter and just to remind him, he holds the "metaphoric Sengol" in his hand.
Clashes broke out in Manipur after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the majority Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
In a tweet, Chidambaram said it is more than three weeks since violence broke out in Manipur and at least 75 people are dead.
"The Hon'ble PM has not uttered a word so far. Nor has he made an appeal for peace and harmony. Just to remind him, he holds the metaphoric Sengol in his hand," the former home minister said.
His remarks come amid a war of words between the Congress and the BJP over the history of the Sengol with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying it was a symbol of the transfer of power from the British in 1947 and should have gotten its due respect after Independence, but was kept on display as a "walking stick" at Anand Bhawan in Prayagraj.
The Congress has claimed there was no documentary evidence of Lord Mountbatten, C Rajagopalachari and Jawaharlal Nehru describing the Sengol as a symbol of transfer of power from the British to India.
In another tweet, Chidambaram said, "Tiruvalluvar put 'righteous rule' (depicted by the Sengol) as one among four virtues of the ruler/ The other three are: Welfare, compassion and protecting the weak (poor). In Kural: 546, the poet also cautioned that the ruler will be victorious only if the 'Sengol' did not bend."
"That is ancient wisdom for India in 2023," he said.