Congress cries foul on purported Kuki militant outfit’s statement supporting BJP electorally
Imphal, February 26: The opposition Congress party has complained to the Election Commission Saturday about a purported statement of support by a militant group, the Kuki National Organisation, in favour of the ruling BJP, calling it a direct and clear threat to the conduct of free and fair elections” in Manipur.
A memorandum submitted to the Election Commission and state Chief Election Officer and signed by former Union Ministers Jairam Ramesh and Salman Khurshid as well as former Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi Singh claimed the statement by the Kuki outfit was an attempt to intimidate voters and was issued with the full knowledge and connivance of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
The KNO statement apparently signed by the outfit’s president PS Haokip which has been doing the rounds of social media in this militancy-hit state but which has not been independently verified by PTI, says that as the Union Home Minister and BJP leadership have promised swift settlement of Kuki aspirations , the outfit will support all BJP candidates for the upcoming assembly polls and warned that acting against its appeal would be seen as “acting against Kuki interests.”
The purported KNO statement issued on Friday on a letterhead which says it is from Kuki National Organisation, Government of Zale’n-Gam, says as “the central government and ruling BJP leadership have promised swift settlement of Kuki political asiprations. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has announced the same in his public address on 23rd Feruary 2022 at Churachandpur Public Grounds.
“Therefore KNO has resolved to extend support to all BJP candidates for the 12th Manipur assembly elections.”
It goes on to say any person or organisation “acting contrary to this appeal will be deemed acting against Kuki interest.”
Ramesh, who is also the AICC observer for the state told PTI telephonically I have spoken to the Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra on this issue and have pointed to the chain of events starting with Amit Shah’s speech in Manipur promising an accord with Kuki groups to the issue of a statement promising support to BJP candidates by the banned KNO.
He pointed out that the KNO threat to voters was most objectionable, as this this is a direct threat to those who do not vote for BJP.
Our candidate from Tengnoupal constituency where Moreh is has warned me not to come there as he fears Congressmen will be targeted here. I was supposed to go there tomorrow.
Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Ibobi Singh also alleged that the BJP government to be hand in gloves with all underground groups. “They are only after power and using these elements as a tool for this election and using it as a tool to win this election” Ibobi added. (PTI)