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1 Mar 2017

Rahul slams Modi on Naga Accord - Only Cong can safeguard Manipur's territory, says AICC vice-president

Khelen Thokchom, TT, Imphal, Feb. 28: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today demanded that the contents of the Naga Accord, signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, be made public and accused Modi of "spreading hate and lies" wherever he went.
Contradicting Modi's claim that he had informed AICC president Sonia Gandhi about the details of the framework agreement with the NSCN (I-M) immediately after it was signed in August 2015, Rahul said: "A few months after the accord was signed, Modi called Sonia Gandhi and informed her that a historic Naga Accord was signed. Sonia Gandhi was confused and confirmed from Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh that nothing was disclosed to the state government either about the accord."
Rahul was addressing a mammoth rally here ahead of the first phase of Manipur Assembly elections on March 4. Modi, in his election rally here on Saturday, had claimed that Sonia was informed about the accord.
"No minister in Modi ministry knows about the contents of the accord. The Manipur government is also in the dark. No one knows what Modi has given or not given in the accord. Only Modi knows what is there. Why are the people of Manipur being kept in the dark about the contents of the agreement?" Rahul asked and demanded that the accord be made public.
Rahul told the gathering that only the Congress can safeguard the state's territorial integrity and lead Manipur towards development and prosperity.
Echoing Rahul, Ibobi Singh too demanded that the contents of the accord be made public and uploaded on the Internet.
Reacting to Modi's scathing attack that Ibobi Singh was the most corrupt chief minister in the country, Rahul said, "Wherever Narendra Modi goes, he spreads lies, hatred and enmity among brothers. He makes false promises. He has levelled baseless allegations of corruption against the Ibobi Singh government. He always makes false claims."
He countered the allegation by saying that Modi himself was corrupt. He said the Sahara company had given Modi Rs 40 crore in nine instalments in six months beginning November 2013 and a Birla company had given him Rs 25 crore in 2012. Flashing documents, he said these payments were recorded in income tax documents. "Why is Modi not holding an inquiry into it instead of accusing Ibobi of corruption?" he asked.
Rahul also slammed Modi for subjecting poor and common people to suffering with demonetisation. "No rich men were in the queues in banks. Only the poor were forced to stand there. He is after the poor and the common people instead of going after the rich and wealthy. Savings by farmers and poor traders were destroyed," he said.
He said the Modi government has done nothing for Manipur in its two-and-a-half year tenure, including not establishing a sports university in the state despite having two sites for it. Modi has also failed to keep his pre-poll promise of bringing back black money stashed away in foreign banks, he added.
On the other hand, he said, the Congress government in Manipur has made remarkable achievements in the fields of health, infrastructure and power, among others.
Before Rahul addressed the rally, BJP president Amit Shah, in a rally held in Kangpokpi district, promised equal development for both the hill and valley areas if the BJP comes to power. He said the Congress government in its 15-year rule had created divisions between communities in the state.
As Rahul was proceeding from Imphal airport to the rally venue, students under the banner of All Manipur Students Union held placards saying "Disclose framework agreement".
Two hours before Rahul arrived at the venue, police recovered a grenade from outside a residential building at Khongman Bashikhong, about 6km away.
Pre-poll violence: Five persons were injured when a candidate allegedly fired at supporters of his rival candidate in a pre-poll violence in Imphal East district at noon today.
Police said a confrontation between supporters of Md Islamuddin, an NCP candidate, and supporters of Md Nasiruddin Khan, an Independent candidate, in Keirao Assembly constituency near Islamuddin's house led to the firing.
One of the injured, Md Saddam, said Islamuddin fired from his licensed single barrel gun on Nasiruddin's supporters. The bullets hit five persons. The injured were admitted to different hospitals in the city. They are all out of danger, sources said.
Keirao will go to the polls on March 4 along with 37 other constituencies. Eight candidates, including sitting MLA Karam Thamarjit Singh (Congress), are in the fray in the constituency.

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