Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, along with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, on Sunday reviewed the prevailing situation in Manipur where a 75-day long economic blockade on national highways has crippled normal life. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and other top officials were present as the three ministers held an hour long meeting to discuss the situation in the Northeastern state. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was also present in the meeting, leading to speculation of the central government mulling some legal action.
The ministers and top officials discussed how to reopen the blocked NH 2, the lifeline of landlocked Manipur, and restore normalcy, sources said. The top priority of the central government is now to reopen NH-2 which connects Manipur to Assam through Nagaland. While the other highway, (NH-37), is reopened, the Centre wants to reopen the NH-2 too as early as possible, sources said.
Assembly elections in Manipur are scheduled for March 4 and 8 and around 20,000 central security personnel have been sent to the northeastern state keeping in view the security situation in the wake of violence following the economic blockade imposed by the Union Naga Council (UNC) on the National Highways since November 1.
The UNC had imposed the economic blockade on NH-2 (Imphal-Dimapur) and NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam) that serve as lifelines for the landlocked Manipur.