Prime minister Narendra Modi on Saturday assured the Manipuris that interests of Manipur would not be affected because of the peace pact with the NSCN(IM), and instead accused the Congress government headed by Okram Ibobi Singh of dividing the people on ethnic and geographical lines. “There is nothing in the Naga Accord that amounts to betraying the interests of Manipur. There is not a word in the Naga Accord that goes against the interests of Manipur,” Modi said, launching the BJP campaign in Manipur in a big way on Saturday. Though Modi called it Naga Accord, the government had so long referred to it as Framework Agreement, since it was signed on August 3, 2015.
Modi, who tore apart the Congress, and more particularly its chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, said what the Congress could not do in 15 years, the BJP would do in just 15 months.
“You have seen the Congress for 15 long years. Vote for BJP, and we will show you what we can do in just 15 months what the Congress could not do in 15 years,” he said.
Holding the Congress government responsible for the blockade that has been on since November 2016, Prime Minister Modi directly accused chief minister Ibobi Singh for it.
“On one hand he incites and provoked the people against the blockade, on the other hand he pays money to those who have called the blockade. They think more blockade will benefit Congress, more the people suffer would benefit Congress. Even a child knows who benefits from it,” he said.
Squarely blaming the Congress government for continuation of the blockade, he said that chief minister Ibobi Singh had failed to act despite complete support from the Centre.
“We have repeatedly told the state government that we will provide all support to it to remove the blockade. But this Congress government did not do anything. This is a fully heartless government which wants to harass the people, keep them starving, just with an eye on the elections. Such a heartless government should not be allowed to continue. People should punish such a government. They are playing with your lives by inciting brothers against brothers,” the prime minister said.
(Congress leader and chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh however hit back at Modi and asked him to make the contents of the Framework Agreement public. “If the Framework Agreement does not have anything about Manipur, then why doesn’t the BJP government make its content public?” Ibobi Singh asked at a press conference in Imphal later in the day.)
“Ibobi 10% CM”
Prime Minister Modi, whose rally held in Imphal East LAC saw a huge turn-out despite a bandh call given by six armed insurgent outfits, also described the Congress government in Manipur as corrupt and said everyone in the state knows Okram Ibobi Singh as a “10 per cent chief minister.”
“No chief minister elsewhere in the country talks about any percentage. But what I have heard here is that everything is measured in terms of percentage. When I first heard about this 10 per cent, I did not understand what it was, until someone explained it to me. I am told all of you know about this 10 per cent commission, and you all know who takes it. Why do you let him continue then?” Modi asked.
Asking the people to calculate how much money has gone elsewhere through this 10 per cent commission, prime minister Modi said, “Manipur wants a zero per cent CM, zero per cent ministers, and a zero per cent government. Only then well the state develop and people become happy. How much has been taken away through this 10 per cent in 15 years? Had this 10 per cent not been taken away, Manipur would have seen a lot of development,” he said.
Continuing his tirade against the Congress and Ibobi Singh, he asked, “Why give 10 per cent to someone when the BJP will give 100 per cent for development? Decide what you want: 10 per cent corruption or 100 per cent development,” Modi said.