Home INDIA Manipur BJP MLA Jabs Congress With Rahul Gandhi’s 2019 Tweet On NRC, CAA

Manipur BJP MLA Jabs Congress With Rahul Gandhi’s 2019 Tweet On NRC, CAA

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Manipur BJP MLA Jabs Congress with Rahul Gandhi's 2019 tweet on NRC, CAA

Manipur BJP MLA Rajkumar Imo Singh speaks to party supporters in the capital Imphal


This election season, the ruling BJP in the border state of Manipur has opened a new front against the Congress through the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA. The Manipur Assembly on March 1 passed a resolution asking the Center to start conducting the NRC exercise to identify and deport illegal immigrants.

Continuing the offensive from where he left last week, BJP MLA Rajkumar Imo Singh told his supporters in Imphal that not a single Congress MLA was present in the meeting when the resolution on the NRC was passed.

“All five of them were outside, posing for pictures and talking to the camera. Later we found out why,” Mr Singh said.

He took out his phone in front of party supporters and showed a 2019 post by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on the microblogging website polarization”.

“And why did Congress MLAs walk out of the assembly during the NRC resolution? In 2019, Rahul Gandhi tweeted: ‘CAB and NRC are weapons of mass polarization… I stand in solidarity with all those peacefully protesting against CAB and NRC’ “Rahul Gandhi was Congress president at that time. Congress has always opposed NRC and CAA,” said Mr Singh, who is also the son-in-law of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.

Gandhi resigned as Congress president in July 2019 after taking responsibility for a second straight national election defeat. He won Wayanad seat in Kerala but lost his second seat in Amethi of Uttar Pradesh to Smriti Irani of the BJP. Until then, Mr Gandhi had won from Amethi since 2004.

In Manipur, where tensions have been high between the Kuki-Zo tribes and the Meiteis since clashes broke out in May 2023, the Meiteis and other major communities besides the Kuki-Zo tribes are demanding the implementation of the NRC exercise. The NRC exercise aims to identify illegal immigrants based on a cut-off year and deport them.

Assam was the first state to implement the NRC, and the process faced several challenges, including 19 lakh people under three crore who were left out of the list. Many whose names were not on the list had appealed because an error had been made. The process of analyzing the appeals and making decisions on them is ongoing.

The CAA, the rules of which were announced on March 11 in line with the Center’s pledge to enforce the rules before this year’s national elections, will help minorities from three neighboring Muslim countries speed up their Indian citizenship process if they were to flee due to religious persecution.

The Meiteis, who are dominant in the valley areas of Manipur, want NRC to be implemented, while the Kuki-Zo tribes, who are dominant in the hill areas of southern Manipur and a few other districts, claim that the Meiteis want to capture their land by they are called illegal immigrants because the Kuki-Zo tribes share familial and ethnic ties with the Chin people of neighboring Myanmar. Thousands of people from Myanmar’s Chin state and other regions of the junta-ruled country have entered India after fleeing conflict between junta forces and pro-democracy rebels.

Home Minister Amit Shah told Parliament last year that one of the factors behind the crisis in Manipur was the huge influx of illegal immigrants.

Poppy cultivation, illegal immigrants and ethnic tensions are among the major issues ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in Manipur, which will be held in two phases on April 19 and 26.

The Congress candidate from Inner Manipur is Dr. Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, and the BJP candidate is Thounaojam Basanta Kumar Singh, the state education minister.

Manipur has two Lok Sabha seats: Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur. The entire Inner Manipur constituency and some areas under Outer Manipur will vote on April 19. The remaining areas under Outer Manipur will vote on April 26. The votes will be counted on June 4.

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