Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Ram Madhav strongly condemned the state government for taking control of the hills and not holding any hill council election to date.
Madhav asserted that the goodwill that the saffron party built over the years with great effort has gone today.
"The two communities Meiteis and Kukis have become great enemies... don't know how long will it take to get things back in place with efforts taken but better efforts could have been taken much earlier," Ram Madhav said.
Speaking at the India Today conclave, BJP leader Ram Madhav who played an important role in building the saffron party in the Northeast said, "Everybody must under that the issue in Manipur is not a religious conflict as some are trying to protect it."
Madhav asserted that some sections of the society tried to portray it to be a clash between Hindus and Christians and not even a clash between tribal versus non-tribal problems.
"The clash is all about land," said Ram Madhav.
"10 per cent of the Manipur is a valley and 90 per cent of which is hills and this 10 per cent of this valley is home to 60 per cent of the people...that is where the whole clash happened," he added.
Further Madhav added that out of the 60 per cent living in the valley, 90 per cent are from the Meitei community which happens to be mostly Vaishnavites which is one of their identities.
The BJP leader claimed that the people from the hills try to come down and take possession of the land as the valley is open whereas the hills are controlled by certain hill laws and this has been a constant reason of concern between hills and valley people.
"In the hills, the Kukis are one big tribal community and another big community is in Nagas where Kukis and Nagas have again this problem.. which hill belongs to whom," he added.
Citing an example from 2003, Ram Madhav stated that a massive case of violence was reported in which almost 200 people died wherein this time deaths are around 80-85.
"We always that the challenge of economic stability and when I handled the state (Manipur)...we formed the government in 2017 there was an active stand-off from hills to the valley only to take revenge on the valley people," he added.
Madhav claimed that the crisis was managed through dialogues and talks and give them what they needed and this time the government need to be more proactive in tackling these kinds of issues.
Speaking on the immediate measures to be taken on Manipur, Ram Madhav said, "After Home Minister having close door meeting with groups in the valley and plains..there was appreciation and people are mulling of peace."
On the demands of the hills community, Ram Madhav said, "Hills people demand separate hill council with all the powers...unfortunately elections have not taken place which is another reason for tension for the state running the show."
"We should hold district elections and give power to the local people," he added.
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