How Manipur CM, BJP Ministers & Police Struggled To Keep People From Leaving Modi’s Imphal Rally (Watch)
Desperate to leave, people climbed over tall gates that the police had shut close.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an election campaign rally at Hapta Kangjeibung, Imphal on Sunday, April 7. Manipur BJP ministers and police had to use several tactics to stop people from leaving the venue before the arrival of the prime minister.
In an attempt to convince the people attending the rally, Minister for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Thongam Biswajit Singh said, “Let us at least listen PM Modi’s message for Manipur and the Northeast.” Biswajit Singh made the statement after a BJP member informed him that people had started to leave the rally. He made the appeal specially targeting the gathered students and women unwilling to wait for the PM’s arrival.
The minister’s appeal, however, didn’t help as people kept heading towards the exit gate. He added, “I earnestly request you all to wait for 10 more minutes, the prime minister will be here in 10 minutes and 10 minutes is nothing, he will be here before my speech concludes. Let’s listen to what plans the prime minister has for Manipur.” Singh then paused and started taking suggestions from other worried BJP leaders present sitting at the stage. Singh asked if they should play some music and songs to convince the people not to leave.
Addressing the crowd, Biswajit Singh asked, “Shall we play some music while we wait? Since everyone is leaving, wouldn’t it be better to listen to some songs and stay instead of leaving?” He added that the BJP leaders had gathered to “expose lies of the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi to the people of Manipur”. “Shall we do that or listen to some songs?” Singh asked.
Before he could resume talking, some people in the audience asked him to play music.
After noticing that a large number of people were exiting and the minister’s appeals were falling on deaf ears, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh addressed the audience. “PM was late as he was rallying in other parts of the Northeast. Let us all wait for Modi and hear him out, at least,” he said. The chief minister’s words also failed to convince the people.
Again, Biswajit Singh said, “In order to refresh people, there are suggestions that we play music instead of speeches. I was actually planning to expose the Congress but I’ll do that some other time.”
Meanwhile, police tried to physically restrain people from leaving the rally, as per a video posted by news website Manipur Talks. In the video, police can be seen barricading the area to stop people from leaving.
Total chaos in #Manipur after police were used to prevent people from leaving Modi's rally.
— ManipurTalks (@ManipurTalks) April 7, 2019
In another video which surfaced on social media, two women can be seen climbing a closed gate. One furious women is heard saying, “What is Narendra Modi going to do coming here!” The gate was later opened as more people started to exit the ground, causing a stampede-like situation.
It is noteworthy that the recent rallies held by Modi in Meerut and Wardha also saw a very low turnout. Even at Kolkata’s Brigade Ground, many members of the audience had reportedly left before the prime minister’s arrival.