Will Not Allow Manipur to Break, Says Shah as Women Block Roads

The Asian Age.  | manoj anand

India, Politics

The state is scheduled to go for the polls in two phases in the coming Lok Sabha elections

Union Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah holds a sword during a public rally ahead of Lok Sabha polls, in Imphal, Manipur, Monday, April 15, 2024. (PTI Photo)

Guwahati: Union home minister Amit Shah on Monday asserted that he wouldn’t allow the breakup of Manipur, and alleged that there have been attempts to change the demography of the frontier state through infiltration from across the border.

Touching the emotive demand of Manipur on the Inner Line Permit, Mr Shah, addressing a public rally in Imphal, said: “I want to tell this today that our (CM) Biren Singh may not say this, but he kept a big demand before PM Modi -- Manipur cannot remain united without an Inner Line Permit. The BJP government has strengthened Manipur by giving the Inner Line Permit.”

Equating the Lok Sabha election between the forces trying to break Manipur and those keeping it united, he claimed: “There have been many attempts to alter Manipur's demography through infiltration.”

It is significant that ahead of his arrival, women protesters blocked roads in different parts of the city, including Khurai Lamlong and New Checkon in Imphal East, and Kakwa in Imphal West.

Mr Shah arrived at Imphal International Airport at around 2.30 pm and headed straight to the rally venue at Hapta Kangjeibung in Imphal East district.

Mr Shah reiterated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s priority was to restore peace in Manipur, while keeping its integrity intact, by holding talks with all sections. “Manipur will witness peace in the days to come. Over the past six years, Manipur had been peaceful… I assure you that the BJP will hold talks with those who have ignited the conflict and those who have endured it, and restore peace by taking all the communities on board,” he said.

He targeted the Congress Party, and alleged it was always engaging in divisive politics and responsible for chaos to Manipur.

He said: “The destiny of country will change when that of the Northeast and Manipur will change.”

Mr Shah appealed to people to vote for BJP candidates in the Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur Lok Sabha constituencies.

It must be noted that at least 219 people were killed after ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur on May 3 last year, when a “Tribal Solidarity March” was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

The state is scheduled to go for the polls in two phases in the coming Lok Sabha elections. Inner Manipur constituency, one of the state’s two seats, and the one that covers most of the Meitei-majority Valley region, will vote on April 19. The Outer Manipur seat, which covers most Kuki-Zomi and Naga dominated areas, will go to the polls on April 26.