Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said the government would hold peace talks with all Kuki militant groups and their issue would be resolved in the next five years.
As the problem of Bodo militancy was solved in neighbouring Assam, no Kuki youth would have to carry arms anymore, Mr. Shah said at an election rally in Manipur's Churachandpur district.
Militant outfits such as the Kuki National Organisation and the United People's Front were demanding a separate State for the Kuki tribe in Manipur. The government had signed a Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact with them.
"Have confidence in us, we will talk to all Kuki organisations, and a new life will be given to all Kuki youths to enable them to join the development of the nation, of the hills and of Manipur under Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Mr. Shah said. He claimed that the Bodoland issue was solved in Assam.
"We have brought them [Bodo rebels] to the path of development and today, no Bodo youths have weapons in their hands. Instead, they have motorcycle keys, keys to industries and laptops," the Home Minister said. The same had been done in Karbi areas and more than 9,500 people associated with militancy in the north-east had surrendered and joined the mainstream, the BJP leader said at the rally.
Urging the people to bring the BJP back to power for the second time in a row in Manipur, Mr. Shah claimed that Chief Minister N Biren Singh, in the last five years, had freed the State from bandhs and blockades and was leading the State to the path of peace and development.
He attacked the Congress, claiming that the State was known for militancy, drugs and arms trafficking, blockades and corruption during its rule. Under the BJP, all these had been substituted with development, connectivity, infrastructure, sports and industries, Mr. Shah said.
‘The 3 Is’
"During the time of the Congress, there were three Is — Instability, Insurgency and Inequality. During the BJP rule, the Is are Innovation, Infrastructure and Integration," the Union Minister said.
He claimed that the Congress wanted the people of the hills and the valley to fight against each other to suit its politics, whereas the BJP had led both to the path of development.
Mr. Shah said Mr. Modi wanted to make Manipur the best sports hub in the country, free the youths from drugs and arms and make them Olympic gold medal winners.
The National Sports University was being set up in the State, while a decision had been taken to establish one Khelo India centre in each of the 16 districts of the State to tap local talent and provide them with a platform, Mr. Shah said.
He said an 'Olympic Park' spread over 10 acres would be built to provide training facilities to State-level players so that they become international athletes.
The Home Minister said that in the last five years, the BJP government had worked hard to bring an end to violence in Manipur and make it an ideal State and in the next five years, it would be the best State in the whole region.
The Assembly elections in the State will be held in two phases on February 28 and March 5.