Chidambaram `surprised` over BJP`s demand on Muivah

Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday 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.

Last Updated: May 15, 2010, 16:13 PM IST

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday 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 R S 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 government is addressing this problem in
coordination with the state governments. "At this stage, all
sections of the people, especially the political parties,
should support the Government in its efforts," he said.

PTI