Imphal: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that the party will protect the history, culture and language of Manipur which the “BJP and RSS have undermined”.

The Lok Sabha MP also promised to give one-third reservation to women in Manipur, revive the MSME sector, make the state self-sufficient in rice production, improve irrigational facilities, construct food parks and build more women-controlled ‘Ima markets’.

Addressing a public rally in Imphal, Gandhi said, “BJP and RSS come to Manipur not with respect but with a sense of superiority. On the other hand, I come with humility to learn from the diverse tribes, the hills and the valley, and how you treat your women.”

“I believe that every single state has equal right to have own languages, culture, history and a way of looking at themselves. On the other hand, BJP believes in one ideology, one language and one culture. India is facing a battle between these two ideologies,” Gandhi said.

He claimed that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had invited some leaders from the state to his residence and asked them to take off their shoes while keeping his shoes on.

“A minister defended it saying it is his culture to take off shoes but it is not my culture to humiliate guests. They are assaulting our culture and traditions,” he said.

The Congress leader said that BJP has also assaulted the democratic traditions by not holding ADC elections in the hills despite claiming that it has brought governance at the doorsteps.

“Palm oil plantations are being planned to destroy your future. These will benefit only a handful of big businesses,” he said.

He also alleged that thousands of people had died in Manipur due to lack of oxygen and ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic and the northeastern state was among the worst performers in vaccination.

The Congress leader claimed that GST has affected small and medium enterprises in Manipur.

“We will guarantee MSP in horticulture. We want to make Manipur self-sufficient in rice production, and improve irrigational facilities. The Congress will revive the MSME sector, and support and protect smaller businesses, focus on food processing industries and establish food parks,” Gandhi said.

Rahul Gandhi & team at Luxmi Kitchen in Imphal

The MP said that Congress will build more women-controlled ‘Ima markets’ and give one-third reservation to women in the state.

“Uttar Pradesh is bigger than Manipur but for us, both the states are equally important,” he added.



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