New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday termed the all-party meeting convened by Home Minister Amit Shah on the Manipur situation as “too little, too late,” and said efforts to bring warring factions on the discussion table will lack seriousness if they are done sitting in Delhi.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said it is clear that the all-party meeting is not important for the prime minister as it is being held at a time when he is not there.
“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,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said the entire nation expects a serious intervention from the Union Government and said at least a prime minister-level meeting should have been called in Manipur itself. “Any effort for peace must take place in Manipur, where the warring communities are brought on the discussion table and a political solution is arrived at. This effort will lack seriousness if it is done sitting in Delhi,” he said on Twitter.
After 50 days of death and destruction in Manipur, he said, “Home Minister Amit Shah’s call for an all-party meeting is too little, too late”. Venugopal said for the last 54 days, Manipur has been burning, and people are fighting with each other. “The PM has not uttered a single word yet. The PM should find some time for our own state, Manipur, as well,” he said. Venugopal said the Congress party has already asked for an all-party meeting convened by the prime minister of India.
“The Home Minister has already been there and has done exercise there. What is the point of Home Minister calling a meeting again. At least, there should be a meeting of the prime minister level and that too in Manipur. Prime Minister should find little time for our own little state Manipur also,” he said.
The Congress leader said Manipur is still burning, with people fighting with each other and so many people have lost their lives and so many properties have been burnt.”But, the prime minister has not uttered even a single word. At least, a peace call from the prime minister is expected. That too has not even been delivered,” he said.
The government only woke up after Sonia Gandhi’s address to the people of Manipur, he said.
Shah has called an all-party meeting on the situation in Manipur on June 24.
“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 alleged. Noting that the Home Minister himself has presided over this situation and made no progress, he said in fact things have “worsened” since his visit.
“Can we expect genuine peace under his stewardship,” he asked. “Moreover, the continuation of the partisan state government and non-implementation of President’s Rule is a travesty,” Venugopal charged.
The Congress has been seeking the Centre’s immediate intervention in bringing peace to the north eastern state which has been struck by violence since May 3. The party has also blamed the alleged divisive politics of the BJP for the current situation in Manipur.
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. So far, nearly 120 people have lost their lives and over 3,000 are injured.
Shah had also visited the state for four days last last month and met a cross sections of people in his efforts to bring back peace in the northeastern state.