During an all-party meeting in Delhi, chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, opposition parties expressed the need for a unifying figure in Manipur, which has been plagued by violence for the past 50 days. They emphasised the importance of an all-party delegation visiting the state to provide the people with a "healing touch." The meeting was held to address the ongoing situation in the violence-affected state.
The meeting saw the participation of various political parties, such as the BJP, the Congress, Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena, the Trinamool Congress, the Mizo National Front, the BJD, the AIADMK, the DMK, the RJD, the Samajwadi Party, and the AAP.
The government informed that the Minister of State for Home Affairs spent a duration of 20 days in the state. Additionally, they mentioned the establishment of relief camps to accommodate individuals who have been displaced from their homes.
According to sources, several opposition parties expressed their desire for an all-party delegation to visit the northeastern state, but the government did not commit to it. The Congress party demanded the immediate removal of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, while the Samajwadi Party and a few others called for the imposition of President's rule in the state, which has witnessed sporadic violence since May 3.
However, sources indicate that the government stressed its commitment to restoring normalcy in the region, stating that it is making every effort to achieve that goal. During the meeting, Home Minister Amit Shah conveyed that all necessary actions are being taken to bring peace to Manipur, following the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as reported by Sambit Patra, the BJP's Manipur in-charge.
Patra further informed reporters that Home Minister Shah mentioned his regular communication with Prime Minister Modi regarding the situation in Manipur. He emphasized that there has not been a single day when they did not discuss the matter or receive instructions from the prime minister.
Since the outbreak of ethnic violence on May 3, nearly 120 people have lost their lives, and over 3,000 individuals have been injured in the state.
The meeting was attended by notable figures including BJP President J. P. Nadda, former Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh from the Congress party, Derek O'Brien from the TMC, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Singh from the NPP, Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang from the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, Birendra Prasad Baishya from the Asom Gana Parishad, M Thambi Durai from the AIADMK, Tiruchi Siva from the DMK, Pinaki Misra from the BJD, Sanjay Singh from the AAP, Manoj Jha from the RJD, and Priyanka Chaturvedi from the Shiv Sena.
"After the meeting of our leaders in Patna, within 24 hours the Opposition spoke in one united voice for Manipur, the Northeast and India," O'Brien told reporters after the three-hour-long meeting held at the Parliament House complex.
The Trinamool Congress raised concerns about the government's handling of the situation in the violence-hit state and demanded the dispatch of an all-party delegation within a week. They questioned whether the government was aiming to transform Manipur into a situation similar to that of Kashmir.
Subsequently, Ibobi Singh, addressing reporters, expressed his belief that peace cannot be achieved under the current state government led by Chief Minister N Biren Singh. He called for the immediate replacement of Singh.
Singh expressed disappointment at not being given sufficient time to convey his viewpoints towards the end of the meeting.
When asked if the Home Minister presented a plan for peace, Singh responded negatively, indicating that no such roadmap was provided during the meeting.
"The Congress and some other parties also demanded that an all-party delegation be sent to Manipur and we hope that the prime minister will hold a similar meeting after his return from foreign trip," he said.
According to sources, most parties raised the request for an all-party delegation visit, but the government did not provide a definite response.
RJD MP Manoj Jha stated that the entire opposition voiced their lack of trust in the current leader of the state government during the meeting. He emphasized that peace cannot be achieved if that individual remains in charge.
"It was absolutely an open discussion. The entire opposition said that there is complete mis-trust in the political leadership of Manipur. The entire opposition went into the extent of saying that the there is no trust in the person heading the administration in Manipur," he said.
Sources revealed that Ram Gopal Yadav from the Samajwadi Party, along with one or two other leaders, demanded the imposition of President's rule, alleging that the state government had failed to uphold peace and that the administration had crumbled.
Tiruchi Siva of the DMK stated that the opposition collectively urged for the dispatch of an all-party delegation to Manipur.
"It is not a law and order breakdown to be controlled by police and army or Assam Rifles. It is a failure of the governance in the state and the union government," he said.
Siva said the home minister responded by saying the government has deployed more police and the opposition should trust him as he is looking after it.
The home minister asserted he will restore peace, Siva said, adding the opposition also expressed concern over Prime Minister Narendra Modi not expressing concern so far over the situation in the state.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said all parties expressed concern over the Manipur situation and sought immediate government action to bring back normalcy.
Union ministers Pralhad Joshi, Nityanand Rai and Ajay Kumar Mishra, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, and Director of Intelligence Bureau Tapan Deka also attended the meeting.
Violent clashes broke out in Manipur after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Shah had visited the state for four days last month and met a cross sections of people in his efforts to bring back peace in the northeastern state.
Opposition parties have been criticising the government for its handling of the situation as violence has not stopped even after 50 days.
According to Siva, the Home Minister responded by assuring that the government had increased police deployment and urged the opposition to trust him as he was overseeing the situation.
Siva further stated that the Home Minister expressed his determination to restore peace. Additionally, the opposition raised concerns about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's lack of acknowledgment regarding the state's situation.
Priyanka Chaturvedi, a Shiv Sena MP, mentioned that all parties expressed their apprehensions about the situation in Manipur and called for immediate government action to restore normalcy.
The meeting also saw the presence of Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi, Nityanand Rai, and Ajay Kumar Mishra, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, and Director of Intelligence Bureau Tapan Deka.
Violent clashes erupted in Manipur following a 'Tribal Solidarity March' on May 3, organized in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Earlier, Home Minister Shah had visited the state for a duration of four days last month, where he met individuals from different sections of society in an effort to restore peace in the northeastern state.
Opposition parties have been critical of the government's handling of the situation, as violence continues unabated even after 50 days.
(With inputs from the PTI)