NEW DELHI, June 18 (PTI): The Congress on Sunday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not speaking on the Manipur crisis in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio broadcast and asked when will he say or do something about the “unending violence” in the northeastern state.
While slamming the prime minister’s “continuing silence”, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh also hit out at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for issuing an appeal for peace in Manipur “after 45 days” and asked if the prime minister had “outsourced” the appeal to the organisation that “moulded him”.
“So one more Mann ki Baat but Maun (silence) on Manipur. The PM patted himself on the back for India’s great capabilities in disaster management. What about the entirely man-made (actually self-inflicted) humanitarian disaster that is confronting Manipur.
“Still no appeal for peace from him. There is a non-auditable PM-CARES Fund but does the PM even care for Manipur is the real question,” Ramesh said on Twitter.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also took a dig at the prime minister, saying he is “too busy” to find the time to visit Manipur.
“I have a practical suggestion: the PM’s special aircraft can make an unscheduled stop at Imphal on the way to Washington giving the Hon’ble PM an opportunity to ‘visit’ Manipur. That way, he can effectively silence all the opposition to him,” Chidambaram said on Twitter.
Ramesh said the Sangh has finally issued a public appeal for peace and harmony in Manipur after 45 days of “unending violence”, and targeted the Sangh as well as the prime minister.
“The RSS’ well-known duplicity is in full display as its divisive ideology and polarising activities are changing the very nature of a diverse NorthEast, of which Manipur is one tragic example,” he alleged.
“But what of its much-celebrated former Pracharak, who now controls the administrative machinery at the Centre and in the state?
Has he outsourced the public appeal to the organisation that moulded him, Ramesh asked.
“When will Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, say something, do something on Manipur? Is he only a Prachar Mantri and not Pradhan Mantri?” Ramesh said on Twitter.
The RSS on Sunday condemned the ongoing violence in Manipur and appealed to the government, including local administration, police, security forces and central agencies to take every possible step to restore peace immediately.
In a statement, RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale stressed that there is no place for hatred and violence in a democratic setup. He said both sides should overcome the trust deficit, which caused the present crisis, and initiate dialogue to restore peace.
More than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki community people in Manipur that broke out a month ago.
Ten opposition parties of Manipur led by the Congress on Saturday had questioned the “silence” of Prime Minister Modi on the Manipur situation, while urging him to meet them and make an appeal for peace.
Clashes first broke out on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals – Nagas and Kukis – constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.