BJP playing blame game to cover Kuki Mils: Congress
Congress sets record straight on Thangjing, four CPs in Kangpokpi

Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, October 26 2023: Congress party has accused BJP of indulging in blame game to divert public attention from the misconduct of 10 Kuki MLAs, seven of whom are BJP legislators.

Addressing a press conference at Congress Bhawan, here, on Thursday, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) working president Kh Devbrata ridiculed the statement made by BJP Manipur Pradesh president A Sharda, and said that the BJP state president was unable to give a direct response to the question asked by media persons regarding the role of the seven BJP MLAs from Kuki community in the demand for separate administration.

As she could not admit the fault of her party, the BJP president brought up the issues related to renaming Thangjing hills and inclusion of four villages under Gram Panchayat under District Autonomous Council in a desperate attempt to distract the public and put blame on Congress for the present crisis in the state with the ultimate objective to shield the Kuki MLAs, particularly those belonging to the BJP, he claimed.

While wondering why the BJP government remained silent in its six years of rule if there were lapses on the part of the past governments, Devbrata opined that the BJP government can always amend the SoO agreement if they think there is mistake in it.

Sharda's response to the question on the seven BJP MLAs from Kuki community was nothing but a desperate attempt to mislead the public by diverting their attention from the real issue.

As for Congress, the party has not changed its stand to do whatever necessary for restoring peace and resettlement of the displaced people.

BJP should refrain from indulging in blame game to divert attention of the people from the real issue and its failure, he said, adding that no matter how much the party try to divert the issue, they cannot escape from their responsibility in the present crisis.

The public will give its mandate eventually, he added.

The vice president further said that district reorganisation does not affect the boundary of the state.

Even if Thangjing hills range is under Churachandpur district, it does not affect the boundary of the state as the hill areas are also part of Manipur.

BJP can blame the Congress as much as they like but they are accountable for the loss of hundreds of precious human lives and displacement of tens of thousands of families, he said.

Regarding the statement of Sharda, who said that BJP MLAs are not behind the separate administration demand, Devbrata said that such ridiculous remark is rather surprising, especially when the 10 Kuki MLAs as well as ITLF, militant groups under SoO, external extremist groups and Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga are openly demanding separate administration.

Union home minister Amit Shah and RSS chief Mohan Bhagat had also pointed out involvement; of external militant groups behind the present crisis in the state.

In such a situation, the Kuki MLAs have become like co-conspirators.

Defending the Kuki MLAs despite their misconduct against the interest of the state will only demean the saffron party, he elaborated.

Devbrata also charged the BJP government of doing nothing to protect the innocent Kuki civilians, whose voices are suppressed by their armed and powerful leaders.

BJP has failed to take up actions against the seven BJP MLAs from Kuki community or to sever tie with the three remaining Kuki MLAs who are allies of the BJP government, possibly led by the fear of the fall of the government.

However, Congress wants to make it clear that the party has no intention of toppling the government.

The party simply demanded change of the chief minister or else to impose President's Rule, he contended, while assuring that Congress, as a responsible opposition party, is always ready to support good initiatives of the government but cannot remain silent on flawed policies.

The MPCC working president further asked how long the government will make the displaced people to stay in relief camps.

There means of earning livelihood and restarting a decent life in the relief camps.

Moreover, there is no initiative to provide relief allowance to the displaced people living in the relief camps.

On the other hand, the government has not been able to send additional state security forces to Moreh, which could be done through airlifting easily, he opined.

Clarifying on the Thangjing hill row, he said that the then Congress government created Thangting sub-division upon the request of the people of Churachandpur district.

It does not changed the name of Thangjing hill.

However, the name was changed into Kangvai sub-division following public protest.

Creation of sub-division and changes in district boundaries were carried out for administrative convenience and it was not an attempt to disintegrate the state.

As for the addition of Koubru Laikha, Santolabari, Toribari and Kalapahar GPs under the district council, he said that after the formation of District Council Delimitation Committee in 2008, the committee submitted a report, which brought up old records of 1972 that demarcated the GPs as part of hill areas, and recommended bringing of the four GPs under the jurisdiction of district council.

Consequently, Tribal Affairs and Hills Department issued an office memorandum recommending the same in 2009 .

In 2012, a PIL was filed at the High Court of Manipur challenging the order.

However, the high court dismissed the PIL observing that Panchayati Raj Act cannot be exercised in areas covered by Manipur Hill Area Act 1971.Another PIL was also filed in 2015 and it was also rejected, he said.

Earlier, the four GPs were brought under Panchayati Raj Act as temporary measure in order to ensure delivery of services and benefits to the Nepali residents when people in the hill areas were demanding implementation of 6th Schedule instead of ADC.

Consequent to the dismissal of the PIL by the High Court in 2012, the then government took the decision of reinstating the four GPs under ADC and issued a gazette notification on June 29 of that year.

These steps were taken up as per existing law and there was no question of the then government making mistakes in this regard, he added.

MPCC spokespersons Tilotama, Bhupenda and other party leaders were also present at the press meet.

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