Itanagar: Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday came down heavily on the Opposition for trying to “politicize” the Manipur ethnic violence issue.
“Since the beginning we have wanted to discuss the Manipur issue but the Opposition always tries to make excuses, saying that the Prime Minister should make a statement on the issue. Making excuses they just don’t want to discuss the issue. They just want to make a political issue out of it,” he said.
Talking to reporters here, Rijiju maintained that the Manipur issue, involving two communities, was carefully handled by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, and blamed that the Opposition is only trying to escalate it.
“There are two ways with which we can address this – we can appeal to both the communities which we have been doing and also by deploying enough security forces to ensure that peace prevails. But the Opposition, in spite of appealing to the affected communities to maintain peace, are trying to make the issue bigger. They are pouring oil to the fire,” he charged.
He also charged Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for demanding security clamp down in Manipur to address the issue. “We have to note that none of the civilians in Manipur lost their lives because of the Army or the central security forces,” he said.
The Union Minister for Earth Sciences went on to say that since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, no new militant group has been formed in the North East and said that instead, more than 8,000 militants surrendered and came back to the mainstream. “Militant groups in the region were formed during the Congress regime because they never discussed the issue as they were too arrogant,” he alleged.
Rijiju, the Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal West, hailed PM Modi for supporting development in the NE region. While saying that when he first became MP, only 15 per cent villages in Arunachal had roads. “None of the district headquarters had double-lane roads but now almost all of them have two-lane roads…Today, more than 95 per cent of the villages have roads,” he said while referring to Arunachal Pradesh as one of the fastest developing states in the country.