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Manipur election: PM Modi promises to end economic blockade if BJP gets elected

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election rally in Manipur’s capital Imphal on Saturday, promising to end the economic blockade of the state if his BJP is voted to power in the upcoming assembly poll.

assembly elections Updated: Mar 08, 2017 07:23 IST
Sobhapati Samom
Sobhapati Samom
Hindustan Times, Manipur
Manipur election 2017,PM Modi in Imphal,Congress
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election rally in Manipur’s capital Imphal on Feb 25, 2017, ahead of the assembly poll in the state. (ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday blamed Manipur’s Congress government for not taking the necessary steps to end the economic blockade that has crippled the north-eastern state.

“Isn’t it the state government’s task to open the blockade and provide essential commodities? How are they running the government? No blockade will be allowed once the BJP comes to power,” he said and added that if voted to power, his party will bring development to the state in 15 months, which the Congress could not achieve in 15 years.

Manipur has been crippled by an economic blockade, spearheaded by the United Naga Council (UNC) since November to protest against the creation of Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts.

The UNC maintains that the creation of the districts will hamper the interests of the Naga ethnic group members, while state authorities say that the new districts were created for better administrative convenience.

Addressing a rally at the poll-bound state’s Langjing Achouba ground, the PM dismissed the allegations that the August 2015 agreement between Centre and NSCN (IM) might affect Manipur’s territorial integrity.

The Prime Minister  accused the state’s Congress government of misguiding the people on the issue in an attempt to win the elections. “There was not even a mention of the word Manipur (in the agreement),” he added.

Modi also attacked the Congress for ‘ruining’ the state by not providing jobs on the basis of merit.

He said jobs were categorised on the basis of ‘rates’ of bribes required to be paid to get a post. “Every job right from teacher to cook has different rates (of bribes). Those who have looted the country, I assure you they won’t go unpunished,” he said.

Despite a boycott call by the Coordination Committee of some Manipur-based insurgent groups, the Prime Minister’s rally saw participation from the state’s titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba, Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar and minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju.

First Published: Feb 25, 2017 14:00 IST