Congress demands public apology from Biren

Imphal: Indian National Congress, Manipur has ‘strongly’ condemned the recent remarks of Manipur’s BJP chief minister N. Biren Singh on free rice, free medicines and free vaccines being provided to the people.

“We, from the party, demand his (Biren) unconditional public apology to the people of Manipur for his unforgivable and morally very dehumanising worths to our poor and needy people in the state during covid pandemic,” Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee president Govindas Konthoujam said in a video release on Tuesday.

The Congress party is not surprised by his (Biren) public statements as they overtly reflect the thinking of BJP’s ideology and political principles towards the poor and the downtrodden. Those who have no respect for Mahatma Gandhi ji will also have no respect for the poor. Had BJP respected Mahatma Gandhi ji the BJP chief minister would not have uttered such distasteful words. The insensitivity of and humiliatingly public mock, by the BJP chief minister’s statements towards the poor people of Manipur shows that Manipur’s BJP government has no regards for the poor people in state. His statement is indeed, unbecoming of a chief minister, Govindas said.

The chief minister was asking what the previous Congress governments had done for the state In 15 years. “I want to ask him whether he was not a part of the Cabinet under the then Congress chief minister O. Ibobi Singh. He served not only as Cabinet minister but also as a Congress government spokesperson. Does he mean to say that the Congress government in which he was the minister for a full term in 2007- 12, did not do anything for the people of the state? Does he mean to say that he, as the then Congress government spokesperson, did not announce to the people about the good governance and development done by the Congress government? His hypocrisy and double speak are being exposed today, and the people of Manipur are its witness,” he added.

Who is doing double standard politics during covid pandemic in Manipur? He asked.

It Is the BJP government which is doing double standard politics by consistently raising heavy taxes on petrol and giving back nothing to the people to fight cold pandemic.

The BJP chief minister ridiculed the people in Manipuri language, by asking from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi would give free rice free medicines and free vaccine if there were no returns, and whether the free items would fall from sky. The BJP chief minister created an infamous record of publicly humiliating and mocking the helplessness of the ordinary citizens of India in Manipur.

The hypocrisy of Biren government is being exposed today, Govindas said.

He said since BJP comes in power in 2017, the people of Manipur have already given Rs 702 crore as state’s taxes, such as sales tax/ VAT (Value Added Tax)., in buying petrol to the state exchequer, as per the Union Government’s PPAC data. Even, during covid pandemic, in the financial year of 2020-21, the people of Manipur gave Rs 167 crore through state’s tax collection to BJP Government in the state. The BJP government, in covid pandemic (2020-21), had collected Rs 5 crore more than the total of Rs 162 notes collected during the first year (2017-18) of the BJP rule In the state. Manipur Government takes VAT as 36.5 percent in every like of petrol. Today, petrol price in the state has crossed Rs 100 per litre. Through petrol, BJP government in the state received Rs.162 crore in 2017-18, Rs 181 crore in 2018-19, Rs 192 crore 2019-20. and Rs 167 crore in 2020-21 and the total receipts Rs 702 crore from 2017 till date, and this amount of Rs 702 crore is not from the BJP government in the state or Modi government, but it is only from honest earnings of the people of Manipur

“So, Mr BJP chief minister, the people of Manipur gave you Rs 702 crore,” he said.

How many crore has your BJP government given back to the people of Manipur during covid pandemic?
Have you announced any economic package to the people? Why did you take Rs 167 crore through petrol from the people’s pockets during covid pandemic in 2020-21 instead of you giving something back, in the form of an economic package, to the poor and needy people of the state to fight the could pandemic? Have you, leading the people’s centric government, ever reduced a single paise in petrol for the people or Manipur since 2017? Govindas asked.

Does not your BP government hold the constitutional obligations to help the poor by providing them the free rice, the medicines and the free vaccines as per the constitutional and fundamental rights, and as guaranteed in statutory acts passed in the Parliament and national government’s executive policy? He added.

As per National Disaster Management Act, food, medicines, essential commodities, drinking water, shelter, etc. are to be provided for free to the people during notified national clamites, and covid pandemic has already been notified . a national disaster, Congress governments, in the past, gave free polio, TB and Hepatitis vaccinations to the people, Govindas said.

The Modi government received Rs 20.55 lakh crores since 2014 till date through central excise duty and other central taxes from the people of India through petrol. Even, during co. pandemic (2020-21) the Union government received Rs 2.76 lakh crore from the people’s pockets. If the people of India gave Rs 20.55 lakh crore to Modi government, why should not Modi government spend something for the people of India during covid pandemic? As Modi government took Rs 2.76 lakh crore from the people through petrol during Covid pandemic, did Modi government spend Rs 2 lakh crore to fight covid pandemic in the nation? He asked.

When will BJP chief inister of Manipur produce the white paper on the balance sheets of the credit and debit of the donations received and its corresponding expenditure during the 1st wave of covid pandemic? Will the chief minister lay down the details of the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund on covid pandemic during the 1st wave ?
Will the chief minister lay down the white paper on the different amounts of rupees received by state government from the central government to fight covid pandemic during the 1st wave? He added.

Rice and medicines are already provided for free under different constitutional schemes of central government to ail the eligible citizens of our country. Vaccines too are provided for free to 75 percent by central government as per the policy announced by the Prime Minister. “What has the state BJP government done to give additional rice, medicines and vaccines above the allotted statutory rights of the beneficiaries of the centrally sponsored schemes for the entire population of Manipur during Covid pandemic?” He asked.

How many crore of Rupees have been spent from the state exchequer by the state BJP government to fight covid pandemic, both in the 1st wave and the 2nd wave? He added.

RBI gave Rs 99.122 crore to Modi government in May, 2021. Besides this, in the whole world, the people of India have to pay 260 percent tax on fuel while the fuel tax is only 20 percent in the United States or America. The cost of petrol without any tax or commission is hardly Rs 35 per litre, Govindas said and asked why is Biren government not making any attempt to share these billions profits or Modi government with the poor of Manipur during Covid pandemic?

The national economy has been deeply affected with hardly any employment and low FDI ranking. Compared to our FDI Ranking during the former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s tenure in today’s Modi government, India’s Foreign Direct Investment is nowhere today, he said.

“I would like to remind the people of Manipur that it is only the Congress party that has felt the needs of the poor the downtrodden and the needy people of our state. I appeal the people of our state to raise questions for their rights to the BJP regime. We in the Congress stand with the people for the people’s rights. We are fighting for the honour and dignity of our poor people in the state. We will fight together against any 155 51 injustices done to We poor. We will spear Mahatma Gandhi ji’s struggle to serve the poorest of the poor in our society,” Govindas said.

The Congress always stands for the rights and the dignity of the poorest of the poor in our society, he added.

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