Manipur CM Biren Singh denies permission to Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Nyaya Yatra from Imphal

File photo: Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and KC Venugopal. (ANI Photo/Ayush Sharma)


Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Wednesday declined to give permission to use Hapta Kangjeibung Palace compound ground in the state capital Imphal for launch of Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra led by former Congress party President Rahul Gandhi on January 14. After meeting the Chief Minister Manipur, state Congress President Keisham Meghachandra Singh said that the party is now considering three other alternative venues to launch the Yatra.

“BJP government’s refusal to use the public ground for a non-political purpose is very unfortunate and undemocratic. We are now looking for three alternative venues of private lands to launch the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra through a big rally,” Meghachandra Singh told the media.

Terming the Manipur government decision as murder of democracy and violation of peoples’ rights, the Congress leader said that the Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra will be launched as scheduled by the AICC.

He said that on January 14 several leaders of the party, including party President Mallikarjun Kharge, chief ministers and MPs from across the country will gather in Manipur for a peaceful rally.

On Monday, Congress leaders led by Meghachandra Singh met Manipur Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi and requested him to provide permission to hold the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra launching meeting at the Hapta Kangjeibung ground.

“The Chief Secretary assured us that the government will inform us about the permission by Monday evening itself,” a Congress leader said.

He said that the party had applied to the government on January 2 seeking permission for the launching of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra at Hapta Kangjeibung in Imphal.

Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister earlier said that the state government will take a final decision to give permission to use the Hapta Kangjeibung Palace compound ground for the launch of the Yatra after studying the reports of various security agencies.

AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal on Tuesday once again held a preparatory meeting to launch the ambitious Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra from the trouble torn state.

Meghachandra Singh, former three-term Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh (2002-2017), AICC Manipur in-charge Girish Chodankar, Congress Working Committee member Gaikhangam and other leaders attended the meeting and visited Hapta Kangjeibung to assess the ground’s suitability.

Venugopal had said that from Manipur, the Yatra will go to Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya and will reach Mumbai on March 20 by covering 6,500 km (3860 miles) in 15 states.

Manipur is devastated by over eight month long ethnic violence between the non-tribal Meitei and tribal Kuki-Zo community. The violence has claimed at least 185 lives, and and injured over 1,500 people. According to local estimates, over 70,000 people of both communities have been displaced.

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