BJP slams government for Manipur blockade

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NEW DELHI, November 7 (agency): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday described the situation in Manipur as grim despite one group lifting the highway blockade and urged the central government to airlift essential supplies to the state.

“The situation in Manipur is becoming worse day by day. It is very serious. There are reports that fuel and essential supplies there will last for only one more day. We demand that the government airlift essential commodities, fuel and medicines to the state within 24 hours,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters here.

Javadekar, along with BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, will leave for Manipur Tuesday to meet the people of the state and study their condition for the next three days.

He complained that petrol and cooking gas cylinders were being sold at “unthinkable prices” in the northeastern state.

He also wondered why the United Progressive Alliance government had not taken any action to end the blockade that entered its 99th day Monday.

“Is Manipur not a part of India? The government has been giving sermons but has not done anything.

“It is surprising that there is a ceasefire, but yet the rebels are toting guns, while the armed forced have kept their weapons under wraps,” he added.

With the state going to polls soon, the BJP has now taken up the issue of economic blockade in a major way.

The Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) had launched the economic blockade Aug 1 on two national highways — Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati (NH 39) and Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar (NH53) — to press their demand for conversion of the Kuki tribal majority Sadar Hills area into a full-fledged district.

However, tribal Nagas inhabiting the area are opposed to the creation of a Sadar Hills district. The Nagas have since Aug 21 launched a counter-blockade on the two highways.

While the SHDDC has lifted its blockade, the Nagas are continuing with their agitation.

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