PM Modi should chair all-party meeting, in Manipur, says Congress

Congress clarifies that it will not boycott Amit Shah’s all-party meeting on Manipur on June 24; PM’s absence shows his “cowardice and unwillingness to confront failures”, Congress leader says

June 22, 2023 06:36 pm | Updated 08:03 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary K.C. Venugopal. File

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary K.C. Venugopal. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Describing the all-party meeting convened by Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss the situation in Manipur as “too little, too late”, the Congress on June 22 said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s absence from such a serious meeting shows “his cowardice and unwillingness to confront failures”. Nevertheless, the party said that it would participate in the meeting.

“Manipur has been burning since 50 days, but the Prime Minister has remained silent. An all-party meeting was called when the Prime Minister himself is not in the country. Clearly, this meeting is not important for the Prime Minister,” tweeted former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal, speaking to reporters at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters, asserted that Mr. Modi should preside over such a meeting, and that it should be held in Manipur.

“Home Minister had already gone there and done an exercise. What is the point of Home Minister calling a meeting again. There should be a Prime Minister-level meeting and that too in Manipur,” he told reporters, adding, “The Prime Minister has not uttered a single word... The PM should find some time for our own State, Manipur, as well”.

‘Too little, too late’

In a separate tweet, Mr. Venugopal said: “Well after 50 days of death and destruction in Manipur, HM @AmitShah’s call for an all-party meeting is too little, too late. The government only woke up after Smt Sonia Gandhi ji’s address to the people of Manipur.”

“At the outset, the PM’s absence from such a serious meeting shows his cowardice and unwillingness to confront his failures. Even when multiple delegations sought meetings with him, he had no time for them,” the Congress leader added.

Congress leader Pawan Khera, however, clarified that the party would not boycott the June 24 meeting convened by Mr. Shah and will be attending the meet.

Terming the violence in Manipur as a colossal failure of the ‘double engine’ BJP governments at both the Centre and the State, Congress communication chief Jairam Ramesh issued a video statement questioning the PM.

“I think this is gross dereliction and abdication of duty on the part of the Prime Minister. It’s beyond comprehension, in fact, bizarre why the Prime Minister had chosen to remain silent when a State of India is burning,” Mr. Ramesh said.

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