Imphal, Mar 30 (PTI) The Congress in Manipur today took exception to Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s recent comment on “the state’s integration with India” and alleged that it was an “attempt to distort history”.

During his recent visit to the Madhavpura Fair in Gujarat, the chief minister had said the north-east had been a part of India since the Dwapar Yug and “Manipur was made a part of India by Lord Krishna in the mythical times”.

Singh had also invoked the mythological tale of Lord’s Krishna’s marriage and said, “By marrying Rukmini, Krishna had bound the north-east with India.” “The north-eastern states were ignored politically and socially in the past, despite being part of a united India,” the chief minister had said at the event, where a number of BJP leaders, including Union ministers Kiren Rijiju and Mahesh Sharma, talked about the mythological references on Rukmini hailing from the north-east.

Taking a serious note of Singh’s statement, opposition leaders, led by former chief minister O Ibobi Singh, said the chief minister should apologise for his “irresponsible claims” in Gujarat.

At a press conference at the Congress Bhavan here, Ibobi said the Congress did not want to gain “political mileage” from the issue and that it just wanted to clarify the facts.

“The state was politically merged with India in 1949 and Biren should clarify and apologise for his irresponsible claims, which go against the interest of the public, historians and intellectual circles,” he said.

Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee president TN Haokip alleged that Singh’s comment was an attempt “to promote the Hindutva ideology” in a secular India.

“Biren has become a historian overnight and has failed to take into account the feelings of the masses,” he said.

Senior Congress leader and former deputy chief minister Gaikhangam Gangmei said the statement was against “the spirit of secularism enshrined in the country’s constitution”.

A senior BJP leader refused to comment on the matter and said his party would come up with a reply later in the evening.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.