With Manipur facing an indefinite economic blockade imposed by UNC, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh today said the state belongs to all ethnic groups and majority should not disturb the minority or vice-versa.
"Congress is a party which respects everybody irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Manipur belongs to all caste, creed and ethnic groups. "We all are Indians and majority should not disturb the minority and vice-versa," he said at a programme at the Congress office in Imphal.
An indefinite economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council UNC since November 1, 2016 is on in Manipur, against the state government's decision of creating seven new districts in the land-locked state by bifurcating the existing ones and upgrading Sadar Hills to a full-fledged district. The state government had, however, claimed that the decision was taken to "improve" administrative efficiency.
The ruling Congress had blamed the main opposition BJP for "instigating" the UNC in continuing with the blockade and "not doing enough" for the state. But the BJP had levelled counter allegations that the Ibobi Singh government had "deliberately" bifurcated the districts in order to divide the state on ethnic lines and gain out of the ethnic tension in the valley arising out of the blockade. As a result of the blockade on NH2 (via Dimapur) and NH 37 (via Jiribam) -- the two lifelines of the state, supply of essential commodities, including fuel, to Manipur has been severely hit, shooting up the prices of essentials.
Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Electoral Officer Vivek Kumar Dewangan had on Thursday said the blockade would "not impact" the poll process in the state, where Assembly elections are scheduled on March 4 and March 8 respectively.