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CM Biren Singh wants Bose statue at Moirang where INA flag was hoisted first time, says PM keen

Manipur CM Biren Singh also tells ThePrint he is confident BJP will win West Bengal and retain Assam where 'there will be no impact of CAA'.

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New Delhi: Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has requested the central government to construct a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at Moirang where the Indian National Army (INA) flag was first hoisted.

The chief minister told ThePrint in an interview that he has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah about it.

With an eye on the upcoming election in West Bengal, the top brass of the BJP has been aggressively talking about the legacy of Bose and also announced several initiatives. 

The Modi government has already chalked out a year-long programme to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Bose, starting 23 January 2021. 

For this, a high-level committee headed by PM Modi has been formed to decide on activities, approve policies and plans, and supervise the commemoration programme.

Also read: Why Congress is walking tightrope on CAA: Fiercely against it in Assam but muted in Bengal

‘PM is also very keen’ about Netaji statue

“Yesterday, I met PM Modi and Union minister Amit Shah. My main proposal was, you know that the place where Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose hoisted the Indian National Army flag, and the house where the bomb was dropped, that area is still available,” CM Singh told ThePrint Saturday.

“INA land has been acquired by the state government and I’ve requested to construct a big statue of Netaji and install the tallest Indian flag (in the Northeast) in that place,” he added. 

The INA flag was first unfurled on 14 April 1944 at Moirang. 

“Honourable PM is also very keen, and I think that project will come,” he added.  

Singh had recently felicitated Indian Army Captain Soiba Maningba Rangnamei for his bravery during the clash with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley last year.

“My intention was to convey thanks and to encourage my people. This is to motivate my people, you know nationalism has to be the sole area, idea of every national,” he added. 

He also pitched for “some type of exemption” for the Northeast population for recruitment in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). 

“The current examination is taken through UPSC. Some type of exemption in the examination has to be given to the northeast people. Reservation is already there for the Scheduled Tribe, there should be some relaxation for the general category as well, particularly for the Northeast, so more youth join it (CAPF),” he added.  

‘In Assam, there will be no impact of CAA’

Confident that the BJP will retain Assam, the Manipur chief minister said while the opposition is trying to play politics over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), it will have no bearing on the outcome of the state assembly elections.

Singh said the Modi government has already assured the indigenous population that their interests will be “fully protected”. 

“In Assam, there will be no impact of CAA because the central government has already given assurance to the people of Assam, mainly those indigenous, that they will be fully protected,” he added. 

The CAA was passed by the Lok Sabha on 9 December 2019 and by the Rajya Sabha on 11 December 2019. It came into effect on 10 January 2020, but the rules for implementation are still being drawn up. 

The Act proposes that people from six religions — Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian — from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be granted citizenship if they arrived in India before 31 December 2014.

However, the government is yet to frame rules under the CAA. The Ministry of Home Affairs last month informed the Lok Sabha that it has been given extra time till July 2021 to frame and notify the rules to implement the CAA. Until the rules are not notified, the Act cannot be implemented.

The upcoming assembly elections in West Bengal and Assam have put the ruling BJP in a bind over the implementation of the CAA. 

In Bengal, where the BJP is hoping to win elections for the first time, the Matua community and others have been waiting for the 2019 Act to be implemented. But it’s the opposite in Assam, where many indigenous communities have been opposing the law.

“The work done by the BJP in the last 5-6 years is quite visible. People are satisfied with the attitude of the central government, people are happy. People will cast votes, Assam will also definitely come back. And this time, I think Bengal will also definitely be in BJP’s favour because the common public has started saying that BJP is better,” said Singh. 

“Already the honourable PM and Union home minister Amit Shah have indicated and announced that ‘clause 6’ of the Assam Accord will be executed,” he added. 

Also read: Not West Bengal, but it’s the Assam polls that is most crucial for Modi-Shah this year


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