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Manipur: Students’ Association seeks apology from Jairam Ramesh over his remark

IMPHAL: Manipur’s Thadou Students’ Association (TSA) has demanded that senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh publicly apologise for hurting the feelings of the state’s hill people by implicating that they are poppy cultivators.

Jairam Ramesh tweeted on August 31: “BJP’s ‘Vikas’ in Manipur Manipur is getting TWICE the supply of urea it needs and yet farmers complain of shortage! Why? Because urea is diverted to hill areas in Manipur, where poppy is being grown for opium in large areas in last 4 yrs. The State Govt is fully complicit in this.”

TSA has asked Jairam Ramesh to issue a public apology in this matter.

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TSA said in a statement released today that it was very sad that a national representative of a national party like Congress would make such a comment, blaming and implicating hill people as “Poppy Cultivators.”

TSA further said that poppy cultivation in the state began in the early 2000s, when the Congress-led SPF government was in power, and that the government never took any steps to combat the drug issue until Chief Minister N Biren announced the ‘War on Drugs’ in 2018.

Poppy and paddy cultivation seasons do not overlap and urea cannot be stored for a long time, according to the statement.

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