BJP accuses Rahul Gandhi of inciting tension by visiting Manipur

BJP accuses Rahul Gandhi of inciting tension by visiting Manipur

IANS Photo

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) The BJP on Thursday accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of inciting tension by visiting violence-hit Manipur and forcing the administration to resort to fire tear gas shells to bring the situation under control.

"From June 13 till today, the situation had been very calm, with no reported deaths. Unfortunately, a death was reported this morning in Imphal. We are working to bring the situation under control. Let's not play petty political games," said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.

He further stated that Rahul Gandhi's visit to Manipur was intended to incite unrest. Despite the people of the state were opposed to his visit, Gandhi did not pay heed to it and went ahead with the visit.

Patra accused Rahul Gandhi of turning a calm situation into tense by disregarding the advice of the administration. He clarified that the BJP was not against his visit. "Sensitivity is far more important than stubbornness. We are a democratic country, and no one stopped him from visiting Manipur. However, the administration of Manipur informed us that since news of Rahul's visit appeared, there have been multiple protests against his visit," Patra said.

Patra mentioned that there were legacy issues in Manipur, and whatever was happening was a result of these issues. He also claimed that the Congress party was responsible for these legacy issues.

"Rahul Gandhi arrived at Imphal Airport around 11 a.m. We requested him to visit Churachandpur and the Relief Camp only by helicopter, as people were protesting against him on the roads. There were possibilities of untoward incidents which we wanted to avoid. Rahul Gandhi was requested to consider how the administration would maintain calm in case of protests if he chose to travel by road, but he did not listen to anyone," alleged Patra.

After Union Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Manipur, helicopter services were launched at three places in Manipur to reach Churachandpur and other locations, he said. "But Gandhi was in a hurry to open the 'Shop of Love.' Exactly what we feared happened. People thronged the roads with placards asking Rahul Gandhi to go back. Due to heavy protests, his convoy had to be stopped at Vishnupur. Now he is returning. If he had listened to us and travelled by helicopter, the situation would not have turned tense," Patra said.

Patra claimed that the administration had to use tear gas shells to bring the situation under control because of the Congress leader.

Terming his behaviour "highly irresponsible" the BJP leader said Gandhi should have been more responsible and sensitive.