Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on economic blockade in Manipur has stirred up a controversy in the North East state. Reacting on PM's statement, state chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh said, “Didn't expect that PM Modi will state 'If BJP doesn't come back to power in Manipur, economic blockade will continue'.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday promised to end the crippling economic blockade in Manipur if the BJP comes to power in the state and said what the Congress could not do in 15 years, the BJP will do in 15 months.
He also launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, accusing him of “running the most corrupt government” and “taking 10 per cent commission”.
The remarks did not sit well with state administration.
“When NDA came to power in 2014, they withdrew UPA's industrial policy of 30 per cent subsidy in North-East; This is NDA's Act East Policy,” CM Singh said.
Here is what PM Modi said during his election rally in Imphal:
Addressing an election meeting in poll-bound Manipur, the Prime Minister said, “Manipur’s development was stalled under the Congress government”.
“What the Congress government could not do in 15 years our (BJP) government will do it in 15 months,” he said, lashing out at the Congress government for “failing” to provide jobs, infrastructure, and proper drinking water to the people.
Modi also accused the Ibobi government of spreading “false campaign and misleading the people” on the Naga Accord.
“I assure you that there is no single reference to ditching the Manipur people or its interests in the Naga Accord”, he said.
Ridiculing the Congress government, Modi said, “Naga accord was done one-and-half years back. What were you doing ? Were you in a deep sleep? And all of a sudden you have woken up before elections. You are making false claims to mislead the people,” Modi said.
On the indefinite economic blockade launched by United Naga Council (UNC) in November last year, the prime minister said, “It is the responsibility of the state government to make available essential commodities. But the people here are not getting medicines and other commodities.
“There is a blockade on the national highways for so many months, but no action has been taken. Congress is hand-in-glove with those who have resorted to the blockade. I told the state government that the Centre is ready to extend whatever help it required.
“BJP will form the next government in Manipur and no blockade will be allowed then. We will show how a government is run,” he said.
The Congress wants to reap benefits by letting Manipur “burn” and by “pitting one tribe against another for the sake of the chair,” he said.
“What kind of cheap politics is this where you make brothers fight against each other”.
Attacking the chief minister, he charged “I heard that the state chief minister who has been ruling for the last 15 years is known as 10 per cent chief minister. It is for the people of the state to decide whether they want a 100 per cent honest chief minister or one who takes 10 per cent commission.”
The prime minister said the Centre had been sending lots of funds to Manipur but most of the money is siphoned off by leaders and ministers of the ruling party.
“Earlier during Congress regime when funds used to come, Congress leaders and ministers used to siphon off the funds. But now there is a BJP government at the Centre and Manipur government will be held accountable for each and every penny.”
Modi said unity of the people and development were the focus of the BJP and added that all states in the north eastern region should develop.
Referring to demonetisation, Modi said he will not stop until and unless he recovers the black money and said it was Congress which has a problem with the ban.
“The black money recovered will be used for development of the country and uplift of the poor. But when this decision of note ban was announced Congress had shouted the most,” he said.
The state goes to polls on March 4 and March 8 to elect its 60-member Assembly.
(With Inputs from PTI)