Mamata Seeks Centre's Permission To Visit Manipur

The Trinamool Congress supremo said that she has written to the union home ministry saying she wants to meet the people of Manipur in their hours of need.

Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she has written to the Centre, seeking permission to visit the strife-torn state of Manipur.

The Trinamool Congress supremo said that she has written to the union home ministry saying she wants to meet the people of Manipur in their hours of need. 

Banerjee, a strong critic of the BJP, also questioned the "delay" by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in visiting Manipur which is being rocked by one of the worst ethnic violence in recent times, and said the "country wants to know the real picture in Manipur".

"I am yet to get any response (to her letter) from the Centre," she told reporters in the state secretariat.

"I do not want to break the peace there. Considering the present situation in Manipur, I do not intend to breach any security norms of the Army and the home ministry. I am looking forward to your kind and urgent response," Banerjee said, quoting from her letter.

However, why she has written to the central government seeking permission to travel to Manipur remained unclear. People from outside the state require an inner line permit which is issued by the state government and not the Centre.

Banerjee’s party, TMC, has been trying to expand its footprint outside West Bengal without much success for some time now.

While the party managed to win five seats in the recently held elections to the Meghalaya assembly, it drew a blank in polls to the Tripura assembly earlier this year.

The TMC used to have one MLA in the Manipur assembly, prior to the state elections held there last year.  However, TMC legislator Tongbram Robindro had joined the BJP ahead of the 2022 elections.

The Trinamool Congress supremo said that she along with the entire nation is waiting to know the "current situation" in the northeastern state.

"They (BJP leaders) should have gone (to Manipur) earlier. What will they do by going there now? They will not be talking to the peace-loving people there. Like me, others in the country must know how many people have died in Manipur (conflict) till today," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.

Shah reached the northeastern state on Monday night and met political and social leaders to restore peace by hammering out a solution to the issues raised by the warring communities.

Manipur, afflicted by ethnic conflict for nearly a month witnessed a sudden spurt in clashes and firing between militants and security forces on Sunday, after a relative lull for several weeks, drawing national attention to the simmering conflict.

Banerjee said, "Is Manipur disconnected from the rest of the country? What is the situation in Manipur? " 

Later, she took to social media to condemn the "delay" in the union home minister's visit to Manipur. "HM @AmitShah has finally made it to Manipur, after weeks of ethnic violence! Even now, in their delayed response, BJP4India has not bothered to meet the affected families," she tweeted.

Banerjee had last week accused BJP of trying to create "Manipur-like conflicts" in West Bengal.


-With PTI Input

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