Keen for talks with Manipur insurgent groups, says Chief Minister N Biren Singhhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/keen-for-talks-with-manipur-insurgent-groups-says-chief-minister-n-biren-singh-4883291/

Keen for talks with Manipur insurgent groups, says Chief Minister N Biren Singh

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said on Tuesday his party was even willing to give up power if a long-lasting solution could be found

N Biren Singh (left) with Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal being garlanded. file photo

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said on Tuesday his government along with the Centre was keen to have dialogue with insurgent groups in the state to bring peace and his party was willing to give up power if a long-lasting solution could be found.

With over 30 armed groups operating in the state, Singh said, “We want dialogue with those who have taken up arms… A peaceful solution is very much needed.” “I would like the involvement of the Centre and the Prime Minister for a joint appeal to the insurgent groups for talks. The state government will do all the necessary groundwork to take it forward,” the former footballer added.

The BJP leader further said the government would involve civil society bodies and senior citizens’ groups to bring the insurgent groups to the negotiating table. Asked if his legislators would be ready to give up power just as their counterparts in Nagaland had pledged in order to enable the NSCN (IM) leadership to get into the political mainstream, Singh replied in the affirmative. “We are ready. If they (insurgents) agree, we are willing to give up. Once the talks take place under an umbrella, whatever the development is, if this is going to bring peace to the state, I am willing to give up power,” he said.

Manipur has a long history of insurgency with banned outfits, including People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) active in the valley. On the other hand, outfits such as Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA), Kuki National Army (KNA), NSCN (K) and Manipur Naga Revolutionary Front (MNRF) operate in the hills of the state.