Doesn't Behove PM Modi to Laugh, Joke in Parliament When Manipur is 'on Fire': Rahul Gandhi
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi speaks on the Motion of No-Confidence in the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023. Image Courtesy: PTI
New Delhi: Stepping up the attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Manipur violence, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said it does not behove the Indian Prime Minister to laugh and crack jokes in Parliament when the state has been "on fire" for the past four months.
The Prime Minister "wants Manipur to burn and allows it to burn", Gandhi alleged at a press conference at the AICC headquarters here and asserted that if the Modi government wanted to stop the violence, there are multiple tools in the hands of the government that can stop it immediately.
"Women and children are dying over there, women are being molested and raped and the Prime Minister of India is sitting in the middle of Parliament and laughing. This is not about Rahul Gandhi, it is not about the Congress, it is not about Opposition, it is about India, it is about our country. A state has been decimated, it does not exist anymore and it has happened because of the politics of the BJP -- divide and rule and burn," Gandhi said.
Gandhi's strong attack came a day after Modi slammed the Opposition in his over two-hour reply to the motion of no-confidence against his government in Lok Sabha.
Gandhi said his remarks that Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah had "murdered Bharat Mata in Manipur" were not hollow words as he had for the first time in his 19 years in politics been told in a state that if he takes a person from one community in his security detail to the area of another community, they will shoot that security personnel.
"I watched the Prime Minister yesterday, speaking for two hours, laughing, joking, and raising slogans in Parliament. The Prime Minister would say one line and the BJP (leaders) would shout another slogan. The Prime Minister seems to have forgotten that the state of Manipur is on fire and has been on fire for four months," the former Congress leader said.
He said it does not behove the Prime Minister that when there is violence in the country, he indulges in "making fun for two hours".
"When we went to Manipur and went to the Meitei area we were told that they want us to come, they love us, but we should not have any Kuki in our security detail or they will be shot. We were told the same thing when we were going to the Kuki area about Meitei," Gandhi said.
He said the central security personnel told him in Manipur that they had never seen anything like what was happening in Manipur.
"That is why I said the idea of India has been murdered by the BJP in Manipur. I was not speaking metaphorically, I was speaking literally," the former Congress chief said.
"That is why in my speech (in Lok Sabha) I said Bharat Mata has been murdered in Manipur. For the first time, the words Bharat Mata have been expunged from Parliament. It is an insult to those words. What is it that I have said is wrong? I have said Bharat Mata, which is the idea of India, where everybody lives peacefully, harmoniously and with affection, has been killed in Manipur, it is a fact," Gandhi said.
Manipur no longer exists as a state because the state requires control and authority which have disappeared from there, he said.
It would take the Indian Army two days to put an end to the "nonsense" going on there, Gandhi said.
"The Prime Minister refuses to stop the fire, he wants Manipur to burn, he allows Manipur to burn because if he did want it to stop, there are tools in the hands of the government that can stop it immediately," Gandhi alleged.
"I have full faith in the Indian Army, every Indian knows that if the Indian Army is told to put an end to this (violence), it will stop immediately. There are reasons for the PM not being able to go to Manipur. I don't want to speak about them publicly," the Congress leader said.
He claimed that the Prime Minister "ridiculed" the state and the women there in his address in the Lok Sabha.
Gandhi asserted that when a person becomes the Prime Minister, he ceases to be a politician and should become the representative of the voice of the people.
"The politics should be put aside and the Prime Minister should not speak as a petty politician, as the leader of a political party, but he should speak with the weight of the Indian people behind him. It is tragic to watch Narendra Modi, it is sad because the Prime Minister does not understand what he actually is," Gandhi said.
"He is our representative, he is my representative and watching the Prime Minister spend two hours talking about the Congress, talking about the opposition, making ridiculous remarks about the name (of the opposition alliance), this really does not do justice to an Indian Prime Minister," he said.
"I have seen prime ministers from the Congress, the BJP. I have seen Mr (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee, and I have seen Mr Deve Gowda. There is a complete misunderstanding in the mind of Narendra Modi ji about what the PM of India is," he said.
Gandhi reiterated his assertion that "Hindustan has been murdered by BJP in Manipur".
Prime Minister Modi slammed the opposition alliance INDIA as a collection of arrogant dynasties who will take India back by two centuries as he exuded confidence that people will bless 'garib ka beta' with a record-breaking mandate in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
In his over 130-minute reply in Lok Sabha, Modi also seized on Rahul Gandhi's now-expunged reference to his government's alleged assault on 'Bharat Mata' in Manipur during his speech a day before to launch a blistering counterattack, saying some are wishing death to 'Maa Bharti' even though their party has a history of dividing India and assaulting its people.
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