BJP blowup on Muivah visit irks PC
Home Minister gives priority on opening national highways

Source: The Sangai Express / PTI

New Delhi, May 15 2010: Home Minister P Chidambaram today said he was surprised and disappointed by BJP's statement alleging that his unilateral decision to allow NSCN-IM leader T Muivah to visit Manipur had created tension there.

The Minister said he had met a BJP delegation led by Prakash Javadekar yesterday in connection with the situation in Manipur.

"After hearing the delegation, I explained in detail the developments in the past week.

The delegation thanked me for the patient hearing, for the briefing on the developments in Manipur and urged me and the Government to continue to deal with the situation with tact and understanding.

"The delegation expressed satisfaction at the conclusion of the meeting.

I am, therefore, surprised and disappointed by the statement issued by Prakash Javadekar yesterday," Chidambaram said in a statement.

Attacking Chidambaram, Javadekar had yesterday said, "The unilateralism of the Home Minister has once again created tension.

Earlier, he had announced creation of a separate Telangana State without taking the Andhra Pradesh Government into confidence.

This time, he allowed Muivah to visit his village in Manipur without asking the State Government for its view" .

Later, after emerging from his meeting with Chidambaram, the BJP spokesperson said the Minister had "assured us" of appropriate actions on the Manipur issue.

On Muivah's visit, Chidambaram today said the NSCN(IM) leader had "expressed a desire to visit his native village, Somdal, in Ukhrul district, Manipur.

He submitted an itinerary through the Interlocutor RS Pandey.

"Muivah was told that his visit can be facilitated in consultation with the Government of Manipur.

"The Government of Manipur took the stand that such a visit would not be appropriate at this time.

Efforts were made over several days to find a solution.

The Chief Minister of Manipur was requested to go over to Delhi and he did so on May 6, 2010," the Home Minister said.

Chidambaram said the Finance Minister, the Defence Minister and the Home Minister held talks with the Chief Minister of Manipur.

"However, after his return to Imphal, the Chief Minister reiterated the stand of his Government that the visit of Muivah to Somdal could not be allowed at this stage" .

Chidambaram said the demands of NSCN (IM) and other Naga groups go back many years.

"After extensive ground work, NSCN (IM) leaders were persuaded to come to India to hold talks.

From time to time, there will be problems and difficulties.

The effort of the Government of India will be to deal with these problems and difficulties, patiently and tactfully," he said.

The Home Minister said the immediate problem was to ensure that the national highways are open and supplies of goods reach every district of Manipur.

The Govt is addressing this problem in coordination with the State Govt."At this stage, all sections of the people, especially the political parties, should support the Government in its efforts," he said.