Rahul Gandhi urges PM to visit violence-hit Manipur, says Cong ready to help bring peace

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Imphal, Jul 8 (PTI) Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the ethnic violence-affected Manipur to give solace to the people.

Describing what has happened in Manipur as a "tremendous tragedy", Gandhi also said that Congress is ready to do everything it can to bring peace to the state.

Ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki communities since May last year claimed more than 200 lives in Manipur since May last year.

"The PM should have visited the state long back. It is important that he visit Manipur. I request him to come to Manipur and try and understand what is happening here. People of Manipur, probably people of the entire country, want the PM to visit the state and listen to the victims’ woes. It will comfort the people. Congress is ready to support anything that would improve the situation," the Raebareli MP told a press conference here.

During his day-long visit to Manipur, Gandhi visited several relief camps where people displaced by the ethnic violence in the northeastern state are staying.

“This is the third time I come here since the problem started. It has been a tremendous tragedy. I was expecting some improvement in the situation. But I was quite disappointed to see that the situation is still nowhere near where it should be," he said.

Gandhi visited Manipur weeks after ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3 last year. He also began his 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' from the state in January 2024.

This is his first visit to Manipur after becoming the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha and after the Congress won both Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Gandhi said he came to the state to listen to the woes of the violence-hit people and build confidence in them and as an opposition leader, he would pressure the government so that it acts.

"I want to tell all the people of Manipur (that) I came here as your brother, as somebody who wants to help you, wants to work with you to bring back peace in Manipur. I am ready to do whatever I can, Congress party is ready to do whatever it can to bring back peace here," he said.

Stating that he had never seen anywhere in India what is going on in Manipur, Gandhi asserted that violence and hatred are not going to get any solution, while respect and interaction can.

“The state is completely split in two and it is a tragedy for everybody involved. The entire state is suffering. If we start to think about peace and affection, it will be a very very big step for Manipur," the Congress leader said.

The leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha said that whenever the people of Manipur want, he and his party will be available.

“Indian government and everybody who considers himself a patriot must embrace the people of Manipur," said the Congress leader who also met Governor Anusuiya Uikey before holding the press conference.

"We expressed to the governor that we would like to help in whatever way we can. We also expressed our displeasure. We are not happy with the progress that has taken place here. I don’t want to politicize the issue, it is not my intention," Gandhi said in the press conference.

The Congress leader did not take questions from the media people saying he has made his message clear.

"I am not ready to take questions that are designed to divert the issue," he said. PTI COR NN