Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday announced that the government would talk with all the militant outfits in Manipur and solve the insurgency related problems in the state by bringing all the cadres of the extremist groups into the mainstream.
Addressing an election rally in Thoubal, the home minister said that so far 9,500 militants belonging to various outfits of Assam and other northeastern states surrendered and joined the mainstream.
"There will be no fire to any Manipuri youth, no youth will go to jail. All the cadres of the extremist outfits would come into the mainstream and they would work for the development of Manipur and the country," Shah said. He added that curbing smuggling and illegal trade, Manipur would be made a drug free state.
Urging the people to vote for the BJP in the assembly elections, Shah said: "The BJP government has done a lot of work in Manipur in the last five years. Give us five more years. I came here to tell you that we would hold talks with all militant groups to establish permanent peace in the state."
He also announced to keep the territorial integrity of Manipur intact. His promise to secure the territorial integrity of the state assumes significance as the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) has been demanding the integration of the Naga dominated areas of the neighbouring states -- Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. This demand has been strongly opposed by all the three northeastern states.
Highlighting the performance of the BJP led Manipur government, Shah said when his party first came to power in the state in 2017, there was no women run police station, now all the districts have women police stations. "There was no railway line in Manipur earlier, but the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government has extended 111 km railway line in the state by spending Rs 12,000 crore."
“Earlier there was no national highway but now there are several national highways in Manipur. Rs 16,000 crore is being spent to build major highways in the state," he added. The Home Minister said that the former Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi Singh (Congress), knocked at the doors of the Gandhi family several times, but the BJP government at the Centre introduced the Inner Line Permit for which the incumbent Manipur Chief Minister does not have to go to Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday also addressed election rallies in Manipur virtually from Delhi. He had visited the poll bound state on February 22 and addressed an election rally in Imphal while Shah visited Manipur several times to campaign for the party.
The first phase of the Manipur assembly elections (in 38 of the 60 seats) was held on Monday while the second phase of polling will be held in the remaining 22 seats on March 5. The votes will be counted on March 10.