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Congress schools Amit Shah on Manipur history; tells Manipur is not Arjuna’s descendants

It is a well-established fact that Manipur was known by different names and that Manipur is a name of recent origin.

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Imphal: The Congress on Sunday alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah tried to “misrepresent” the political reality and history of Manipur during his recent visit to the state. 

Former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and Manipur Congress President K Meghachandra, addressing the media here at the Congress office, alleged that Shah tried to narrate a wrong history of Manipur and integrate Hindutva into Manipur history. The government is a continuing process, and Amit Shah tried to convey the wrong impression that governance started only after the BJP came to power, they said.

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Ibobi Singh said historians should give their opinions on Shah’s claim that the people of Manipur are the descendants of Arjuna. Shah stated during the January 6 visit that Arjuna, the hero of the Mahabharata, visited Manipur, married a princess, and bore a son who later became king of Manipur. Congress President K. Meghachandra demanded that Shah issue a clarification regarding the claim that Arjun visited present-day Manipur. He said it is a well-established fact that Manipur was known by different names and that Manipur is a name of recent origin.

Meghachandra stated that Shah and Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had previously attempted to incorporate Hindutva into Manipur’s history.

Countering Shah’s claim that students from other states have now started coming to Manipur Ibobi stated that large numbers of students were already coming to study in Manipur at institutes like RIMS, NIT, JNIMS, and others even before the BJP came to power in 2017. 

He believes that the government should not be divided into the Congress and the BJP, and that projects undertaken by one government are often completed by a succeeding government.

He added that the BJP should stop giving the impression that there was nothing before the establishment of its government in Manipur and other states. The Churachandpur medical college inaugurated by Shah already started during his term as Chief Minister Ibobi said. 

Regarding the statue of Marjing Polo, work on the development of the Ebudhou Marjing Complex had also started. Money was already sanctioned for the statue, and attention was also given to protecting the pony as polo started in Manipur. The works for the race track were also started during his tenure, the Congress veteran recalled.The government should focus on helping pony people rather than claiming success for work that had started earlier, he said.

The Congress government had already withdrawn AFSPA from seven municipal constituencies in spite of opposition from the central government, Ibobi said. He questioned why the BJP-led government is not withdrawing AFSPA from the entire state if it claims peace.

Ibobi said the BJP government has removed the special category status enjoyed by the northeast, making the small states fund-starved. The environment has been completely destroyed due to rampant poppy plantations in recent times, Ibobi added.

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