Jairam Ramesh tears into BJP manifesto for Manipur, says it is ‘haijinbi’
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh countered BJP’s JP Nadda, who said Manipur, under chief minister N Biren Singh, has undergone a change from instability to stability in the last five years.
IMPHAL: Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday ran down the Bharatiya Janata Party’s 30-point manifesto for Manipur, saying it was a ‘haijinbi’ (mere announcement in Manipuri) and a ‘jumla’ (rhetoric).
“It is a haijinbi manifesto. It is not a manifesto for the people of Manipur,” Jairam Ramesh told reporters on Thursday evening, hours after the BJP president JP Nadda released a 30-page manifesto promising two-wheelers to meritorious female college students, increasing the monthly pension for senior citizens to ₹1,000 and setting up a ₹100 crore start-up fund.
Nadda also asked people to vote the BJP, saying the state led by chief minister N Biren Singh has undergone a change from instability to stability in the last five years.
Jairam Ramesh contested this claim as well, underlining that the Congress, which was in power from 2002 to 2017, gave a stable and capable government. “So the political instability… how does he (Nadda) define that,” he asked, alleging that Nadda’s claim of political instability was a mockery and insult to the people of Manipur.
“Because in 2017, the constitution was murdered by the BJP. The mandate was for the Congress but the BJP formed the government,” he said, a reference to the BJP quickly stitching a coalition and forming the government in 2017 though the Congress emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats in the 60-member assembly.
Polling for the 60-member Manipur legislative assembly will be held in two phases on February 28 and March 5, while the votes will be counted on March 10.
Jairam Ramesh, who is the party’s senior observer for Manipur, also questioned Nadda’s promise to take the administration to the doors of the people in the hills of Manipur since the BJP-led government in Manipur hadn’t held elections to the autonomous district councils (ADC) for five years.
“ADC has been killed and Mr Nadda is talking about taking administration to the doors of the people.Which door? which people? he said, taunting the BJP.
The Congress leader also contrasted the BJP’s talk of empowering women to the Congress’s specific promise to reserve one-third of all jobs in the state government and state-run firms for women. ”That is empowerment of women. That is employment for women,” he said.
Jairam Ramesh also spotlighted the silence of the BJP manifesto on the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, stressing that the Congress has taken a clear stand on the controversial law. In its manifesto, the Congress said it will ask the Centre to repeal the law.
The Congress also faulted the BJP manifesto for not paying enough attention to farmers, saying the Congress promised to make Manipur self-sufficient in rice production in the next five years. One crop farmer will become two or three crop farmers. He also said that MSP (Minimum support price) which the farmers are not getting in Manipur, is not mentioned in the manifesto of the BJP.
“So in short the BJP manifesto is a jumla manifesto,” the Congress leader said.