Imphal: Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Vice-President Hareshwar Goshwami has reacted strongly against the allegationa levelled on the Congress party by Union Minister of State for Education & External Affairs Dr. RK Ranjan Singh over border issue.
Talking to reporters at a press conference held at Rishang Keishing Media Centre, Congress Bhawan here on Monday, MPCC VP Hareshwar Goshwami said that following strong public outcry, the then Congress government halted border fencing along the Indo-Myanmar border in 2013-14. He reminded that Congress leaders along with some other political parties of the State submitted a memorandum to the then UPA led Government to resolve the border fencing issue at the earliest.
However, after the BJP led Government came to power in the State, the then Director of Government of India Pankaj Kumar wrote a letter to the State Government to resume the construction of border fencing, he said.
He said that the Congress strongly belives that RK Ranjan is one of the prominent intellectuals who fully understand the border issue. In a journal edited by him, Ranjan himself acknowledged the encroachment of Manipur’s land by Burma. Despite Knowing the history, he blamed the Congress for the border issue which is very unfortunate, he said.
Pointing out an article titled “Observation of BP in the village of Molchang” from a book named ‘Regional Integration’ published in 1982, he said that in the article Dr. Ranjan himself said that the State has lost land from BP 64 to BP 68, which was widely known by the people.
In another booklet named ‘Manipur Nation’ written by the Union Minister published in 2003, he wrote “Why does Burma want to replace Molcham with Choro Khunou and why the GoI is willing to do it”. But now, the Union Minister is speaking for popularity and to gain votes, the Congress leader said.
He questioned what Dr RK Ranjan has done for the current border issue during his tenure as an Union Minister of India in the last three years.
People would have appreciated had he announced that he would resolve the border issue during his stint, Goshwami said.
Referring to the statement made by RK Ranjan on emergency declaration, he clarified that the emergency was declared by the then PM Indira Gandhi in 1975-77 on account of internal disturbances. There is no restriction in the Indian Constitution that Emergency could not be declared, he said, adding that declaration of Emergency is permitted under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution.
Under Article 352, emergency can be declared if there is any fear of integration in the country. Later, India Gandhi retained power and ruled the nation from 1980 to 84, he said, adding that in the General Election of 1980, the Congress party won 356 seats out of 531 seats.
If emergency declaration was anti-people then why did the Congress win majority seats in the election, he said.
The MPCC Vice-President appealed to the Union Minister of State not to speak such irresponsibility statements and instead try to resolve the disputed border fencing during his tenure in the Central Government.