NCP chief Sharad Pawar and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee would be unable to attend the meet and have deputed representatives instead.
Union Minister Amit Shah has convened an all-party meeting Saturday in connection with the ethnic violence in Manipur, in which over a 100 people have died. The meeting is scheduled for 3 pm, the Home Ministry spokesperson said.
The Congress was quick to take a swipe at the Centre for convening the all-party meeting when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a foreign visit. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that this indicated that the meeting was not important to him. Another senior party leader KC Venugopal criticised Home Minister Amit Shah for the ‘late’ call for the party meet.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar to skip all-party meeting
NCP chief Sharad Pawar confirmed he would be unable to attend the party meeting due to prior commitments but he designated two of his party leaders – party General Secretary Narendra Verma and Manipur NCP state president Iboyaima Singh – to attend the meet.
TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee too has appointed Derek O’ Brien to represent the party in her absence.
‘Prime Minister remained silent’: Rahul Gandhi
On the centre’s decision to call the all-party meeting, Rahul Gandhi said, “Manipur has been burning for 50 days, but the Prime Minister remained silent. An all-party meeting was called when the Prime Minister himself is not in the country! Clearly, this meeting is not important for the Prime Minister.”
The announcement of the all-party meeting came hours after Congress Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said in an official release that the “unprecedented violence that has devastated the lives of people in Manipur has left a deep wound in the conscience of our nation”. She appealed for peace and harmony in the state.
Manipur has been gripped by violence since May 3 after clashes broke out during a rally organised by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU) to protest against the demand by Meiteis to be included in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list. As Manipur is still witnessing incidents like arson, the state government has extended the ban on the internet by five more days till June 25 with immediate effect.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited the violence-hit state in May end and engaged with political and civil society leaders from both the Meitei and the Kuki communities who have been at loggerheads over the issue of granting ST status to the Meiteis by the Manipur High Court.