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Govt, Oppn trade charges as Parliament remains disrupted

By PTI Updated: Jul 24, 2023 4:28 pm
As Parliament logjam on Manipur persisted on Monday, opposition parties stuck to their demand for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on the issue — Manipur: Opposition holds protest in Parliament premises, demands PM’s statement
Govt, Oppn trade charges as Parliament remains disrupted
Source: PTI

NEW DELHI — As Parliament logjam on Manipur persisted on Monday, opposition parties stuck to their demand for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on the issue, saying why the PM is speaking outside the House but not inside, and the ruling BJP accused them of running away from the debate by disrupting proceedings.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda met with Modi at his office in Parliament amid the logjam, though sources said organisational matters were on the agenda as well.

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Separately, Defence Minister and Deputy Leader of Lok Sabha Rajnath Singh spoke to some opposition members, including Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, over the phone on Sunday to end the deadlock.

Both Houses of Parliament witnessed protests and adjournments again on Monday as opposition parties raised slogans and carried placards demanding a statement by the prime minister on the violence in Manipur.

The government has said it is ready for a debate, insisting that Home Minister Shah will speak on the issue. The opposition, however, has insisted that a statement be made by the prime minister.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has accused the government of being insensitive. “Our demand is that the PM should come to the House and make a statement. We are ready to discuss that statement. You are speaking outside but not inside, this is an insult to Parliament. It is a serious matter,” he said.

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi questioned the government’s failure in controlling the situation in Manipur and said Prime Minister Modi should speak on the issue. It has been more than 80 days and violence is still not decreasing, she added.

“Does the PM have no answerability? He gave a 36-second statement outside Parliament, but he is not telling the country through Parliament why has the chief minister not been sacked yet. Why has the home minister failed in controlling the situation? Why is the Women and Child Development Minister not visiting Manipur yet,” she asked.

JD-U leader Lalan Singh said the incidents in Manipur have shamed the nation. “Manipur has a ‘double-engine’ government, they are totally insensitive towards it. Our demand is that the PM should come to the House and give a statement,” he added.

TMC MP Saugata Roy said his party has decided to demonstrate in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue against the atrocities in Manipur. “We want a Parliament debate, which the prime minister should initiate,” he said.

BJP leader Sudhanshu Trivedi, meanwhile, accused opposition leaders of running away from a debate and also questioned their “silence” on issues of violence against women in other states.

“The opposition’s silence on crime against women in Rajasthan and West Bengal is troublesome. What is more painful is that the Rajasthan chief minister was not listening to his own minister,” he alleged.

Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said, “The opposition should not make excuses. The PM has already made a statement on Manipur with sensitivity and firmness ahead of the (Monsoon) session. It is wrong that we didn’t start the discussion (on the Manipur issue in Parliament) at all by making an excuse in the name of the PM.” The Manipur violence rocked the proceedings in both Houses of Parliament on the first two days of the Monsoon session on Thursday and Friday, with the opposition demanding a statement from the prime minister and a discussion on the situation in the strife-torn northeastern state.

The session commenced a day after a video clip purportedly shot on May 4 and showing two women being paraded naked by a mob in a Manipur village went viral, triggering a nationwide outrage.

The Manipur Police has arrested several accused who were seen in the video. The police said a case of abduction, gang rape and murder has been registered at the Nongpok Sekmai police station in Thoubal district against unidentified armed miscreants.

Manipur: Opposition holds protest in Parliament premises, demands PM’s statement

Govt, Oppn trade charges as Parliament remains disrupted

Leaders of several opposition parties on Monday staged a protest in Parliament complex demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement in the House on the Manipur issue.

Holding placards and banners that read “INDIA for Manipur” and “INDIA demands PM’s statement on Manipur”, the opposition parties raised slogans against the government near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament complex.

Speaking to reporters, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said it is the prime minister’s duty to make a comprehensive statement in Parliament on Manipur violence.

He said the PM has spoken outside and at the door of Parliament.

“Make a statement on what is the real situation in Manipur. But the PM is not coming inside the House. He sits in his office, but is not coming inside Parliament,” he said.

Kharge also said that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had called him up and also several other leaders, including TR Baalu. “We told him that if the prime minister speaks inside Parliament, we will hold a debate on that”.

“We want the discussion to be under Rule 267 which can carry on for hours and even on the next day. We will decide on whatever comes out of the discussion and whether voting can also take place. But, the government wants a half-an-hour discussion or a short duration discussion,” he said.

“The problem is not going to be solved with your discussion. You are representing 140 crore people. Why are you not coming to House and telling the truth.

“When the House is in session, no prime minister or chief minister makes a statement outside. This is the precedent. But, this is the first time he is doing this. As per precedent, he should come inside. We are again demanding that prime minister comes and makes a statement,” the Leader of Opposition said.

“It is ‘shameful’ that the prime minister is making a statement outside the House, when Parliament is in session. It is his duty to make a comprehensive statement inside Parliament on Manipur violence,” the Congress leader later said on Twitter.

“INDIA stands with Manipur. If PM Modi has any ounce of Constitutional propriety left, then he will make an elaborate statement on the violence in Manipur since May 3. No amount of whataboutery and false equivalence shall work in the case of Manipur violence,” Kharge said in another tweet.

“We are requesting the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and the Speaker of Lok Sabha that the PM should make a statement on the situation in Manipur. We want a discussion under Rule 167 but the Modi government wants a short duration discussion under Rule 176 for half an hour.We want under Rule 267 under which there can also be voting,” he said.

Kharge said the prime minister should first make a statement and then we will have a discussion under Rule 267, he said The Modi government and the BJP cannot run away from its constitutional duty and answerability on Manipur, Kharge added.

The government has agreed to hold a short-duration discussion on the Manipur issue with the Home Minister replying to it, but the opposition is adamant on its demand for the prime minister’s statement first.

Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have failed to transact any business during the Monsoon Session amid the stalemate between the opposition and the government over the Manipur issue.

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By PTI Updated: Jul 24, 2023 4:28:44 pm
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