Gaikhangam questions Centre's control over state
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, June 22 2024: AICC CWC member and former deputy chief minister Gaikhangam has criticised the leaders of the state government, accusing them of being bold at home but timid in Delhi.

He also questioned whether the state government is being directly controlled by the Centre.

Speaking at a press meet at his residence in Mantripukhri on Saturday, Gaikhangam expressed scepticism that the ongoing crisis, which has persisted for over a year now, would be resolved in the next couple of months due to lack of serious initiative for commending a peace process.

Gaikhangam pointed out that although the Centre had formed a peace committee last year, no initiatives of peace process is visible.

He highlighted the recent violence in Jiribam district as evidence of the deteriorating ground situation and questioned why the government failed to take preventive measures despite having intelligence reports of the impending violence.

He urged the state leaders to adopt a firmer stance and not be "lions at home and mice in Delhi".

Reflecting on the prolonged conflict, which has exceeded 13 months, Gaikhangam argued that the government could have easily controlled the situation in its initial stages.

He contended that the violence that broke out on May 3 last year could have been prevented, as all signs of impending unrest were evident from the arson on an open gym to be inaugurated by the chief minister.

He accused the government of allowing tensions to simmer, emphasising that controlling violence is a prerequisite for finding a solution.

However, he noted that there were no visible signs of the government making progress toward peace.

The recent security meeting on Manipur, chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, proceeded without the presence of the state's chief minister.

People know that this was an executive-political meeting.

Instead of trying to fool the public, the CM should be sincere and come clean to the people.

As the executive head of the state government, the CM must demonstrate courage in firmly opposing policies that impact the state, prioritising transparency and accountability to the public over political manoeuvres.

Drawing comparisons with the Congress government, Gaikhangam praised the former chief minister for standing up against the Centre for the people and the state.

He emphasised the need for similar bold steps in the current situation.

He questioned how a meeting concerning the state could be held without the Chief Minister's presence.

He also contended that the situation in Jiribam district could have been easily controlled with 200 to 300 security personnel.

Gaikhangam further criticised the current utilisation of central security forces in the state, maintaining that despite a large number of personnel, they are not being effectively utilised.

He noted that the Centre is preparing to send more Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel, adding to the already deployed 70,000 personnel, and argued that even sending one crore CAPF personnel would not bring a solution unless they are used effectively.

He questioned who is truly controlling the state government, suggesting that it appears the Centre is directly managing it.

He asked whether the Union Home Minister is acting as the chief minister of Manipur, criticising the state government's misgovernance and attributing the chaos to it.

Gaikhangam called for the government to act keeping its commitment to protect the unity and integrity of Manipur while exploring solutions.

Commenting on the recent Lok Sabha election victory for the Congress party, Gaikhangam said the election results reflect the people's dissatisfaction with the BJP government.

He asserted that in a democracy, people hold the real power and can reject any party, regardless of its status.

Nonetheless, Gaikhangam expressed gratitude to the CM and the BJP for their misgovernance, which he claimed contributed to the Congress's victory.

He humorously predicted that if the current government lasts until 2027, Congress party might win all 60 seats in the next election.

Gaikhangam also informed that Congress leaders in the Centre understand the issues in the state, which is why the party launched its Bharat Jodo Yatra from the state.

He assured that Congress would bring up the Manipur issue in the upcoming parliament session and uphold the responsibility entrusted by the people of the state.

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