AGARTALA/IMPHAL, Aug 19: Senior CPI (M) leader Jitendra Chaudhury, who is currently visiting strife-torn Manipur as member of a party delegation, on Saturday demanded the removal of chief minister N Biren Singh for “failing to restore normalcy”.
Chaudhury, the Tripura unit’s general secretary and part of the CPI (M) delegation that is on a three-day visit to the violence-affected state, alleged that the ethnic violence in the northeastern state was part of the BJP-RSS’ strategy of engineering division among people across the country.
The BJP, however, dismissed the CPI (M) leader’s allegations as baseless and asserted the state was on the path to peace.
“We don’t see the strife in Manipur as an isolated situation but as part of the BJP-RSS’ pan-India strategy of creating divisions and triggering mistrust among people to rule them. Such incidents are happening everywhere,” Chaudhury told PTI over the phone.
The CPI (M) delegation, led by its national general secretary Sitaram Yechury, visited three relief camps in Manipur and also met Governor Anusuiya Uikey on Friday.
“The situation in Manipur is alarming as mistrust is growing with each passing day. The Biren Singh government in the state, instead of bringing peace, has failed to take any visible step in restoring normalcy,” he said.
“It was said that the Centre will monitor the situation in Manipur but the reality on the ground is very different. Biren Singh, who has become indispensable after his much-hyped drama of resignation, is running the show to date,” the CPI (M) leader alleged.
“We don’t demand sacking of the BJP-led government in Manipur but seek the immediate removal of Biren Singh,” he said.
Tripura BJP chief spokesperson Subrata Chakraborty dismissed Chaudhury’s allegations and asserted that peace will gradually return to Manipur.
“The Union and Manipur governments are trying to restore normalcy in the northeastern state. Even though stray incidents are being reported, the overall situation has improved. The CPI (M) delegation is visiting the state now to fish in troubled waters,” the BJP leader claimed.
Ethnic clashes between Kukis and Meiteis broke out in the northeastern state 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 around 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute little over 40 per cent and reside in the hill districts. (PTI)