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PM Seems To Have Forgotten Manipur Is Burning, Manipur As We Knew It Doesn't Exist Anymore: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said what he witnessed in Manipur is totally unprecedented. He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the speech in the Parliament about himself instead of speaking about the violence in Manipur.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at a press conference in Delhi.
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have forgotten that Manipur is burning for months as he was laughing and making jokes in the Parliament. He also said that Manipur as we knew it does not exist anymore.

Rahul said what he witnessed in Manipur is totally unprecedented and that Modi should at least visit the state. He added the state has been decimated because of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) politics. 

Rahul also criticised the handling of the situation in Manipur and said that there are options with Modi, such as the deployment of the Indian Army, but those options are not being utilised. 

Rahul also accused Modi for sitting and laughing "shamelessly" in the house while the discussion on the sensitive issue of Manipur was going on.

Manipur has been in the grips of ethnic violence since May 3 when clashes erupted between the state's Meitei and tribal communities. Over 150 people have been killed, around 60,000 have been displaced, and deep mistrust has arisen between the two communities. Crimes against women have also come to the fore, which Rahul also raised at the press conference, such as the incident from May 4 in which two tribal women were paraded naked and groped by a mob.

The Opposition has repeatedly slammed Modi for not speaking on Manipur and not visiting the state. It was only after two months in July that Modi spoke publicly for the first time on Manipur after the video of two tribal women being paraded naked and groped surfaced. Much of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament was washed out in a face-off between the government and the Opposition over a demand of a discussion on Manipur and a statement from Modi on the issue. It was, however, only during the no-confidence motion that Modi addressed the Manipur violence towards the end of his speech. 

Manipur as we knew it doesn't exist anymore: Rahul

Speaking at a press conference at Congress headquarters, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that Manipur as we knew it does not exist anymore and that is why he made the 'Bharat Mata' comment in the Parliament.

"I said 'Bharat Mata has been murdered in Manipur' because Manipur as we knew it doesn't exist anymore...For first time, words 'Bharat Mata' have been expunged from Parliament records, it's an insult," PTI quoted Rahul as saying. 

Rahul also said he has not seen a situation like Manipur in his 19 years of political career. 

He said, "I have been in politics for the last 19 years, and I have visited all states. I have never seen a situation as bad as Manipur."

Rahul also slammed Modi for cracking jokes in the Parliament at a time when Manipur is witnessing violence.

He said, "I have been in politics for the last 19 years, and I have visited all states. I have never seen a situation as bad as Manipur...PM seems to have forgotten that Manipur has been on fire for months and people have died there."

Manipur decimated because of BJP's politics: Rahul

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said Manipur has been "decimated" because of the politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

Earlier, Congress along with nine other Opposition parties labelled Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh as the "architect" of the violence. 

Rahul also said the situation in Manipur is such that he had to alter his security detail during his visit to the state as members from one community could not accompany him to area populated by the other community. 

He said, "I said 'Bharat Mata has been murdered in Manipur' because Manipur as we knew it doesn't exist anymore...A state has been decimated because of the politics of BJP. That's why I said 'Bharat Mata' has been murdered in Manipur. For the first time, these words were expunged from the Parliament.

"Before going to Meitei areas, we had to remove all Kukis from our security team. Similarly, before going to Kuki areas, we had to remove all Meiteis from our security team. When we went there, the central security forces told us 'we haven't seen anything like this'. That is why I said Manipur has been murdered by the BJP."

Rahul also said that Modi made the speech in the Parliament about himself instead of speaking about Manipur.

He said, "PM can stop violence in Manipur immediately but somehow he is not doing so; he should at least go there...The (PM's) speech wasn't about India, it was about Narendra Modi. He was telling about his views, his politics and his ambitions. The question is not about him becoming the PM in 2024, the question is that Manipur is burning."

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