Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday urged voters in Manipur to bring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government back to power for another five years and promised to usher peace in the insurgency-affected state.
“Give us five more years, BJP government will take up steps for talks with the insurgency groups of Manipur to bring peace in the state,” Shah said while addressing a public meeting, in connection with the ensuing second phase assembly elections, at Devi Mandop ground at Heirok village, 35 km south of Imphal, in Thoubal district.
Shah said that the BJP government in Assam has taken similar initiatives for peace and also gave examples of Tripura, the Bodoland issue and Karbi issue. Shah said that more than 9,500 persons associated with insurgency in the northeast have given up arms and joined the mainstream.
Citing names of sports champions from Manipur like Mary Kom, Mirabai Chanu, Bombayla Devi and Laishram Sarita Devi, who have brought laurels for the country, Shah also promised that Manipur will be developed as the nation’s sports hub in the next 5 years if the BJP is voted to power for five more years.
“So now the National Sports University in the state will start functioning with an investment of more than ₹825 crore in the next few years,” he said.
He also promised to set up a skill development university in the state.
Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh, his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP Manipur president A Sharda Devi, BJP candidates contesting in 10 assembly constituencies in Thoubal district and others were present during the public meeting.
Amit Shah said, “Being a footballer, Manipur chief minister Biren Singh knew how to score and save goals. So, he prevents bandh and others, and takes up development and peace initiatives.”
Hitting out at the Congress, he claimed that only 5 per cent of the total household in the state got piped water facility in 15 years of the Congress regime. After the BJP-led government came into power in 2017, the coverage has reached 57 per cent, he said.
Shah added that 68,995 houses were constructed in Manipur in the last 5 years under the Narendra Modi government at the Centre. He said free LPG cylinder connections were provided to 1.55 lakh women in the state.
Countering the allegation that the price of gas cylinder has been increasing in the state even though the government provides free gas connection, the visiting home minister claimed that the cost of atta, petrol and gas cylinder had gone up to ₹100 a kg, ₹300 a litre and ₹3000 a cylinder respectively due to blockades during the previous Congress regime.
Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh also spoke on the occasion while BJP Manipur president A Sharda Devi gave the welcome address in the day’s gathering at Heirok where former state education minister Th Radheshyam is contesting against Congress heavyweight and former minister M Okendra in the second phase polls in the state.
Manipur will go to the second phase of polls in the remaining 22 assembly constituencies on March 5 and counting of votes will take place on March 10. The state conducted the first phase of polls in 38 assembly constituencies on Monday.