Ahead of the first phase of assembly elections in Manipur, the main opposition party, Congress, has heavily criticised Chief Minister N Biren Singh on his controversial statement of allowing Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) shops in the state if the BJP returned to power. Manipur is a dry state.
"I am deeply shocked and disgusted at the timing, manner and nature of the Chief Minister's announcement which will gravely menace the society in Manipur. It is extremely disastrous when the state is facing a big issue of drug menace. Moreover, the state government is still unable to control the free flow of drugs from neighbouring Myanmar," said Congress's Observer for Manipur, Jairam Ramesh.
During a BJP political rally on Thursday in Imphal East, N Biren Singh had said the state government would introduce IMFL shops if the BJP returns to power.
Mr Ramesh added that it is unfortunate that the Chief Minister is focusing on legalising liquor shops instead of focusing on urgent matters required to be taken up in the state such as boosting Covid vaccination and solving the issue of unemployment.
"The BJP is sitting in the departure lounge to take off from Manipur permanently. Their exit from Manipur on March 10 is inevitable," Mr Ramesh said.
Manipur will vote in two phases on February 28 and March 5 and votes will be counted on March 10, along with Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand.