Leaders of different political parties, including the BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress, Left parties and others participated in an all-party meeting convened by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the prevailing situation in Manipur on Saturday.
Shah called for the meeting to assess the situation, weeks after he visited the violence-hit state for four days and met with a cross section of people in his efforts to broker peace in Manipur.
Speaking to the press after the meeting concluded in Delhi, BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra said all political parties who attended the meeting expressed their views during the all-party meeting, unanimously acknowledging the unprecedented nature of Amit Shah’s visit to Manipur. “Amit Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is briefed every day on the evolving situation in the state,” he added.
He further mentioned, “A 10km fence has been erected along the Myanmar border to curb infiltration and additional measures are being implemented. Many of the infiltrators were youth who voluntarily surrendered their weapons to the local police. We have considered all suggestions from various political parties and appropriate steps will be taken in the right direction.”
Who Are Attended the All-party Meeting?
BJP national president JP Nadda, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and CPI(M) MP John Brittas, along with other prominent leaders attended the meeting.
The attendees included Trichi Siva from the DMK, Sanjay Singh representing the AAP, John Britas from the CPI, Anil Hegde representing the JDU, Ibobi Singh from the Congress, Pashupati Paras representing the LJP, Manoj Jha from the RJD, Thambi Durai representing the AIADMK, C Lalrosanga from the Mizo National Front, Priyanka Chaturvedi from the SS (UBT), Pinaki Mishra representing the BJD, Ramgopal Yadav from the SP, Cornad Sangma representing the NPP, Derek O’brien from the TMC, B Vinod from the BRS, and Chief Minister of Sikkim Prem Singh Tamang.
Opposition parties have been criticising the BJP-led government for its handling of the situation as violence has not stopped even after 50 days. Nearly 120 people lost their lives and over 3,000 have been injured ever since the ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3.
Congress General Secretary-Organisation, KC Venugopal has demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene regarding the Manipur issue.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh in a tweet said 52 days after Manipur started burning the Home Minister has finally seen it fit to call an all-party meeting on the situation today.
“This meeting should actually have been chaired by the PM who has kept silent all this while. It should have been held in Imphal as a demonstration of national anguish. The BJP has failed the people of Manipur miserably,” Ramesh said in Twitter earlier in the day.
“Even so the man who brought Manipur back on the path of peace and development as Chief Minister for three terms between 2002 and 2017 Okram Ibobi Singh ji will represent the Congress at HM’s meeting. He should be listened to in all seriousness given his vast experience and deep knowledge,” he said.
The TMC in a statement said the state visit by the Union Home Minister to Manipur last month was a failure as it did not yield any results. “He only went to the camps, and met selected people. He heard only the echochamber. He did not meet the people on the streets who have been affected, who are living through the trauma. The three-day visit by the Home Minister did not improve the situation at all. In fact, it deteriorated after that,” it said.
It noted that the there are serious issues of “insurgency, land ownership, law and order” and needs to be addressed in a sensitive manner. “Peaceful resolution can be achieved only through discussions involving all stake-holders. By regaining the confidence of the people in Manipur, and the North-East,” it read.
“The Union Government has to decide whether it wants to create divisions to suit the interests of a political party, or whether it wants to create lasting unity and peace. We are here not to do politics, but to offer constructive suggestions. The Union Government must first acknowledge its failures and course correct. Immediately,” it further stated.
Meanwhile, CPI MP Binoy Viswam urged the Home Minister to explain why the left party was not invited to the all-party meeting on Manipur. “Our National Executive Committee Member P Sandosh Kumar MP was assigned by the party for the meeting. Home ministry can learn from people of Manipur about role of CPI in building peace,” he accused in a tweet.
Shiv Sena UBT leader, Priyanka Chaturvedi, expressed concerns, saying, “There is a sense of distrust, fear, and bias… Many people from Manipur have informed me that they lack trust in the Chief Minister of Manipur. Concrete actions need to be taken.”
Chaturvedi further added, “We have demanded an all-party delegation to visit Manipur.”
(With inputs from agencies)