Imphal: Displeased with what he termed as the government’s inapt handling of the current turmoil besieging Manipur as well as the inhuman murder of two young students, celebrated Manipuri film actor Rajkumar Kaiku aka Somendra has resigned as the primary member of the saffron party.
Kaiku, who has acted in over 400 films, including two Kuki movies, submitted his resignation letter to the leadership of the state unit party on Thursday afternoon even as its top leaders requested him to reconsider his stance.
A resident of Thangmeiband area in Imphal West district, Kaiku contested the last Lok Sabha polls as an Independent candidate in 2019 and later joined BJP in November 2021.
Being a celebrated film personality, Kaiku garnered huge crowds for the saffron party during canvassing in the last state assembly polls held in March last year and the party grabbed absolute majority in crucial polls with grabbing 32 seats in the 60-member house.
Talking to Waari Singbul on Wednesday evening, Kaiku said “my priority is ‘public first and party second’ for which I applied my mind to incline with the public in these hard times.”
“It is disheartening to notice that the government is yet to take up proactive measures to resolve the unceasing public disorder besetting the state more than four months now,” said Kaiku.
Expressing his incongruity to serve the people at his own free will if he works under a political party, Kaiku said “I applied my mind to quit BJP”.
“To be honest, I joined BJP thinking that the party would bring a significant change in our state with its double engine government. Of course, it brought changes in different sectors like tourism under CM N Biren Singh. With this in mind, I thought the central leaders would act swiftly over the ongoing issue and put to an end to the conflict and trusted them. But, the central leaders seem like paying no attention to the pain and misery of the people and they were against every expectation of the people,” he said.
“So, I thought we shouldn’t stay silent but voice out against this ignorance. There are rules if we work under a political party and we can’t just do things at our own will. So, I thought it would be better to leave the Party and join the movement of the people.
There is also a saying that it is the public first, party second. So I thought it is better to prioritize peace and join the people’s movement,” Kaiku added.
Stating that the current turmoil has dampened the pace of development Manipur has witnessed in the last few years,
Kaiku appealed to all sections of society to bring an everlasting solution to the current turmoil.
“As I have left BJP, now I’m a free citizen to join the people’s campaign to restore public order,” he said, while defying Kuki-Zo legislators and civil bodies ‘demand for a separate administration for their community in the state.
On being asked about his stance to contest in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls , the noted actor quipped “ I have no specific decision on electoral politics but I’ll go together with the people to restore normalcy in the state .”
Kaiku who has many Chin Kuki friend chose to appeal to them to realise the sinister game of the vested interest and come out to work for bringing peace and normalcy to the restive Manipur.
“I’ve so many Kuki friends in Saikul, Kangpokpi, Churchandpur, to be honest. I think they should have also realized the background of the issue and not all of them are actively taking part in the conflict. They must have also realised that it is a sinister game of a few. So I appeal to them to understand the situation and act together towards bringing back peace by stopping all kinds of hatred and demanding separate administration.“