Assam CM Differs with Rahul Gandhi: Kind Approach, Not Army, Needed for Manipur Crisis

Editor Editor
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Assam CM Differs with Rahul Gandhi: Kind Approach, Not Army, Needed for Manipur Crisis
Parallel to History: Sarma Invokes Mizoram Bombing Reference to Disagree with Gandhi's Approach
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Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma shared his perspective on resolving the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur. On Friday, Sarma emphasized that the solution to the conflict, which has persisted for more than 100 days, should emanate "from the heart and not bullets." His remarks were directed at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, who had earlier suggested that the Indian Army could swiftly quell the turmoil in the strife-ridden northeastern state.

Sarma, a prominent figure within the BJP and a seasoned troubleshooter for the region, questioned whether Rahul Gandhi's call for the military intervention implied opening fire on civilians. He underscored that while the Indian Army might offer a temporary semblance of peace, a genuine resolution necessitated empathy and understanding, not coercive measures.

Drawing historical parallels, Sarma invoked Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reference to the 1966 Mizoram bombing—a tragic episode involving the deployment of air force planes against Indian citizens. By alluding to this dark episode, Sarma sought to emphasize his disagreement with Rahul Gandhi's proposal.

During a press interaction in Guwahati, Sarma asserted, "Indian Air Force did that in Aizawl, they spread bombs and violence was subsiding. Today, Rahul Gandhi is suggesting that the Indian Army should put an end to the violence. Does that mean they should resort to firing on civilians? Is this his recommendation? The military cannot provide a comprehensive solution. Their role is to temporarily suppress or restore order. The lasting solution needs to arise from compassion, not from violence."

Further elaborating on his perspective, Sarma discussed the recent parliamentary developments. He highlighted how the opposition initially demanded Prime Minister Modi's intervention on the Manipur issue but eventually walked out during the Prime Minister's extensive Lok Sabha address. Sarma interpreted this move as evidence of the opposition's ulterior motives, accusing them of prioritizing disruptive actions over genuine concern for Manipur's plight.

"The opposition's intentions were not aligned with Manipur's well-being; rather, their objective was to disrupt parliamentary proceedings. Their actions were driven by vested political interests, not a genuine commitment to Manipur," Sarma asserted.

In response to Sarma's statements, Rahul Gandhi criticized Prime Minister Modi's conduct in Parliament amid the ongoing crisis. Gandhi expressed his dismay over the Prime Minister's demeanor and accused him of allowing Manipur to burn, implying a lack of proactive government intervention. Gandhi argued that effective tools were at the government's disposal to immediately quell the violence if it wished.

As the standoff between the government and opposition continues, the Manipur crisis remains a matter of concern. The differing approaches advocated by Chief Minister Sarma and Rahul Gandhi reflect the complexity of addressing ongoing conflicts within India's northeastern states. In the face of such challenges, the quest for a lasting solution remains paramount.