Jairam Ramesh: PM Modi must visit Manipur before going to space

Jairam Ramesh: PM Modi must visit Manipur before going to space

GUWAHATI: In response to a media report quoting Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief S Somnath suggesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a candidate for India’s first manned space mission, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh criticised the PM on Thursday, urging him to address the crisis in Manipur first.

Taking to the social media platform X on Thursday (July 04), Congress leader Jairam Ramesh wrote: “Before he goes into space, the non-biological Pradhan Mantri should go to Manipur.”

The media report quoted ISRO chief S Somnath saying that while PM Modi has many critical responsibilities, India’s human spaceflight program would benefit from his participation, particularly in the astronaut training program for the International Space Station (ISS).

“All of us will be very, very proud if we have the ability to confidently send the head of state to space,” Somnath said.

ISRO’s Gaganyaan project, slated for launch in 2025, aims to demonstrate India’s human spaceflight capabilities by sending a crew of three members into a 400 km orbit for a three-day mission before safely returning them to Earth.

Meanwhile, the central government is under fire from opposition MPs of the INDIA bloc over the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur, which erupted in May 2023.

Addressing the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday (July 03), PM Modi assured that efforts are being made to normalize the situation in Manipur.

“The government is continuously making efforts to normalize the situation in Manipur. More than 11,000 FIRs have been registered and over 500 people have been arrested. Incidents of violence are continuously reducing in Manipur,” PM Narendra Modi claimed.

He added that both the central and Manipur governments are engaging with all stakeholders to restore peace.

“Today, schools, colleges, offices, and other institutions are open in the state. The central and Manipur governments are talking to all stakeholders to restore peace,” the PM stated.

On Tuesday, while addressing the Lok Sabha, PM Modi faced continuous sloganeering from the opposition over the Manipur issue.

Manipur has been grappling with ethnic violence since May 3 last year, following clashes during a rally organized by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU) protesting the demand for the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe category.

In June, union home minister Amit Shah conducted a comprehensive review of the security situation in Manipur, directing that “no further incident of violence takes place” in the state.

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