While Manipur is burning, PM 'silent', Home Minister 'ineffective', CM 'non-functional': Jairam Ramesh

Disarm all armed groups ruthlessly without discrimination and begin the process of creating an atmosphere of trust, harmony and reconciliation, says Congress leader

Published - June 25, 2023 08:35 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. File

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. File | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Hitting out at the Centre over the situation in violence-hit Manipur, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on June 25 alleged that while the northeastern State is "burning", Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "silent", Home Minister Amit Shah was "ineffective" and Chief Minister N. Biren Singh is "non-functional".

Mr. Ramesh made the remarks at a national convention on peace in Manipur at the Harkishan Singh Surjeet Bhawan, which was addressed by leaders from different political parties.

In a tweet later, Mr. Ramesh said that he participated in the convention organised by 10 like-minded political parties to share his thoughts on the political, administrative and humanitarian disasters in the State of Manipur.

"You cannot have unanimity but you can have consensus. That is how the Constitution of India was made.... So, it is through consensus, only through listening to everybody, being sensitive that you can really restore trust [in Manipur]. It is going to be a long process. It is not going to happen in weeks, it is going to take months, it may take years but we have to start the process," the Congress general secretary in-charge communications said at the convention.

While Manipur is burning, the Prime Minister is "silent", the Home Minister is "ineffective", and the Chief Minister is "non-functional", he said.

Mr. Ramesh said that to move ahead, the Chief Minister should be replaced immediately.

Then, he said, two fundamental steps need to be taken — disarm all armed groups ruthlessly without any discrimination and begin the process of creating an atmosphere of trust, harmony and reconciliation.

Mr. Ramesh said former Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh took 10 years to restore some semblance of order and then the process of development was started.

"We live in hope that Manipur, which was an example of unity through diversity in India, is brought back to the path of normalcy at the earliest," he asserted.

Mr. Ramesh's remarks come a day after the Congress said peace in violence-hit Manipur is not possible under Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and demanded that the Prime Minister replaced him immediately.

Presenting an eight-point charter of demands on behalf of the Congress at an all-party meeting convened by the Home Minister in Parliament building, former Chief Minister of Manipur Ibobi Singh had said it was unfortunate that he was not allowed more time to put across his views towards the end of the meeting.

Nearly 120 people have lost their lives and over 3,000 injured since ethnic violence erupted in Manipur on May 3. A large number of houses were torched rendering many people homeless in the violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities.

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