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Manipur: Congress asks CM Biren to apologise for remarks on price rise

The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has demanded an “unconditional public apology” from Chief Minister N Biren Singh for his remarks over price rise and government aid to people, terming them a “mockery of people hit by the pandemic”.

The CM, reacting to a protest by the Congress on Friday over high fuel prices, had said the Modi government was doing much in terms of providing free rice and free Covid vaccines to the people, along with other welfare programmes, and “there is a price for this as free aid does not fall from the sky like rain”.

MPCC chief Govindas Konthoujam Tuesday said Biren Singh’s “insensitivity and public mockery” of the poor show that the state BJP government has no regard for them.

“The Chief Minister was asking what the previous Congress governments had done for the state in 15 years. I want to ask him, wasn’t he a Cabinet minister in the Congress government led by Ibobi Singh?” Konthoujam said, adding Biren had also served as the Congress government’s spokesperson.

He further claimed that since the BJP came into power in 2017, the people of Manipur have given Rs 702 crore as state’s taxes in buying petrol to the state exchequer, as per the Union Government’s PPAC data. Even during the pandemic, in the financial year of 2020-21, the people of Manipur gave Rs 167 crore through the state’s tax collection, he claimed.

Konthoujam questioned how many crores the state government had given back to the people during the pandemic. “Why did the CM take Rs 167 crore through petrol from the people’s pockets during the pandemic instead of giving an economic package to the poor?” he said.

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