We are under pressure to resign: Manipur BJP MLAs tell Amit Shah

We are under pressure to resign: Manipur BJP MLAs tell Amit Shah

14 MLAs from Manipur met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Guwahati on the intervening night of May 25 and May 26 to apprise him of the current situation in the state.

We are under pressure to resign: Manipur BJP MLAs tell Amit Shah We are under pressure to resign: Manipur BJP MLAs tell Amit Shah

Amid sporadic instances of violence in the hill state of Manipur, 14 MLAs from the state met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Guwahati on the intervening night of May 25 and May 26 to apprise him of the current situation.

Shah is scheduled to visit Manipur on May 29 and is likely to spend three days in the state.

The delegation was headed by Speaker Th Satyabrata and included ministers Awangbou Newmai, Dr Sapam Ranjan Singh, H Dingo and Sushindro Yaima. It was an all-party team comprising 10 BJP MLAs and two MLAs each from the National People’s Party (NPP) MLAs and the Naga People's Front (NPF). 

The meeting, which took place at Guwahati's Koinadhara Guest House No 1, lasted for around 40 minutes. The Home Minister patiently listened to the concerns of Manipur’s legislators

During the meeting, the MLAs urged Shah to take action against insurgent groups under Suspension of Operation (SoO), suspected to be involved in recent violence, fence the international border and conduct a National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state. They alleged that illegal arms smuggled from across the border have been used by the miscreants involved in violent activities.

The two NPF legislators blamed certain vested interest groups, who had been impacted by the state government’s drives against poppy cultivation, for triggering the recent violence.

Also Read: Manipur violence: Kuki protestors demands Central government to take immediate action against CM Biren Singh

In response, the Union Home Minister said that he would all necessary steps to reign in the insurgent outfits in Manipur, both in Imphal Valley and the hills, before he arrives in the state on May 29. The Union government has taken charge of the law and order in Manipur after massive violence erupted in the state on May 3. Nearly 71 have been killed and over 300 injured in incidents of firing, vandalism and arson since then. According to sources, over 25,000 people have been displaced.

Shah told the legislators that they should persuade the people from all communities to move beyond what has happened in the last one month and show restraint towards each other. The Union Home Minister is believed to have said that the Meitei community should now show large-heartedness as they constitute a majority of the population. However, he accepted that provocations have been coming from the other side too. 

Responding to the demand for the NRC, Shah said that the time was not right for such an exercise as the first priority should bringing peace back to the state. He also instructed Chief Minister N. Biren Singh to proactively work towards creating an atmosphere where both groups—Meitei and Kukis—can engage in dialogues to restore peace in the state.

While both governments have been working towards that, another crisis seems to be lurking around the corner. The BJP MLAs claimed that they were under tremendous pressure to resign from their positions as legislators as the Meitei people in their respective constituencies felt betrayed. The Meitei people are upset with the slow pace of action by the Union government against SoO groups, alleged the MLAs. As both governments—the Centre and the state— belong to the BJP, the people feel that local BJP legislators must resign as they had failed to convince the Central government to protect the interest of the Meiteis. 

The MLAs pointed out how the houses of two ministers were recently attacked by people from the Imphal Valley. “If the people do not witness any improvement and the situation remains the same, we will be left with no other option than to resign,” one of the BJP MLAs told Amit Shah in Guwahati. 

On May 26, Manipur, MLA RK Imo Singh took to his social media handle to express his satisfaction over the meeting with Amit Shah. He mentioned that the Manipuri delegation urged the Home Minister to take necessary measures to restore peace and normalcy in the state and to provide greater control to the state and Central security forces in foothills and interior areas, along with full control over illegal armed forces, including insurgent groups in their camps across the state.

“The Home Minister told us to inform the people of Manipur that he is coming to Manipur on May 29 and will stay for a few days in Imphal, visit other affected areas, and meet all stakeholders from all sections of society to achieve lasting peace in Manipur. He said there must be restraint from all sides if we want to bring peace to the whole state,” wrote Imo Singh on his social media handle.

The delegation also met Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma and requested all possible means to bring peace to the state.

Edited By: Atiqul Habib
Published On: May 26, 2023