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No-Confidence Motion: Opp MPs Demand Resignation of Manipur CM Over Violence

Congress’s Gaurav Gogoi, DMK’s T R Baalu invoke Vajpayee’s comment on ‘rajdharma’ on Gujarat riots to take aim at Modi.
Congress's Gaurav Gogoi. Credit: PTI

Congress's Gaurav Gogoi. Image Courtesy: PTI

New Delhi: Opposition MPs on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh over the violence in the state as Lok Sabha took up a discussion on the no-confidence motion against the government.

The Opposition MPs claimed that the government has failed on several other issues too like inflation, maintaining communal harmony and safeguarding the independence of institutions.

TMC MP Saugata Roy charged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is destroying federalism in the country.         

"West Bengal is a victim because (Home Minister) Amit Shah went and said 'agli baar 200 par' (we will get 200 sets in West Bengal in the polls) but they did not even get 80 seats so they have stopped all money for MNREGA which amounts to Rs 7,300 crore and PM Awas Yojna which comes to Rs 8,400 crore," he said.

He claimed that this government is of the "heartless".

"They are sending delegations to West Bengal on any plea but not one delegation has gone to Manipur where our brothers and sisters are dying. You have no compassion, that is why you have not gone to Manipur," Roy said.

He said the Manipur government led by Singh has failed.

"I demand the present government should be immediately dismissed and president's rule imposed in the state," he said.

NCP MP Supriya Sule also demanded the resignation of Singh.

"What happened in Manipur is shameful. I demand the chief minister should resign immediately. Can you allow this to happen and shame the women of this country? Ask your conscience how you can support this government. How can you allow this?" she said.

Referring to a PIL filed in a NIA court, Sule alleged that it was claimed that United Kuki Liberation Front helped some BJP candidates win in the 2017 assembly polls.

Roy also raised the issue of Modi's foreign tours, saying he travelled to seven countries when Manipur was burning.        

"What was the prime minister doing from May to July when Manipur was burning? He visited seven countries and he was very proud that Joe and Jill Biden gave a private dinner at the White House. Is our prime minister roving ambassador or a travelling salesman," he asked.

"Now the prime minister has to reply why was he visiting foreign countries when Manipur is burning," he added.

Congress's Gaurav Gogoi, who initiated the debate, also wondered why the Manipur chief minister has not been replaced so far. He said while chief ministers of BJP-ruled Gujarat and Tripura were changed, no such thing has happened in Manipur.

Gogoi, Baalu invoke Vajpayee to aim at PM

The Opposition invoked BJP veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi and remind him of 'rajdharma', as it accused him of taking a "vow of silence" over crucial issues such as the ethnic violence in Manipur.

Initiating the debate on the no-confidence motion against the government in Lok Sabha, Congress member Gaurav Gogoi recalled that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had visited Gujarat after the 2002 communal riots.

"Why did he (Prime Minister Modi) take about 80 days to speak on Manipur and (he) just spoke for 30 seconds. After that there has been no peace appeal on Manipur from him. Ministers are saying they will speak, but as prime minister, the power of his words cannot be matched by ministers," Gogoi said.

"When people were gasping for breath during the Covid second wave, the prime minister was seeking votes in West Bengal. When women were being assaulted in Manipur, the prime minister was seeking votes in Karnataka. What kind of nationalism is this that places power above the nation," the deputy leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha said.

Later, participating in the debate, DMK member TR Baalu said late Vajpayee stood behind 'rajdharma', "...but today we cannot stand behind them when women were striped and paraded naked".

"The whole world has condemned happenings in Manipur. The EU parliament has discussed this and the British parliament has condemned Prime Minister Modi and his party very strongly," he claimed.

The DMK leader said he is supporting the no-confidence motion because "we want to kill evil".

"Krishna advised that you are not killing your friends but evil ... the same thing I am doing. There was no other way than to bring a no-confidence motion to get the presence of prime minister in the House," he said.

He also alleged "step-motherly" attitude towards Tamil Nadu.

The BJD  opposed the no-confidence motion against the government on the Manipur violence, saying what happened in the state is due to "legacy issues" running back several decades.

Participating in the debate in Lok Sabha, Biju Janata Dal MP Pinaki Misra said it is out of the question for the BJD to support any motion brought by the Congress.

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