New Delhi: Congress and Telangana-headquartered Bharat Rashtra Samiti moved a no-confidence motion against the central government as the “last weapon” to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak in Parliament on the situation in violence-racked Manipur.
Congress leader Manickam Tagore said Wednesday that the Opposition INDIA parties have been requesting Modi to speak in the House. “But instead the Prime Minister spoke to BJP MPs in the Parliament library. He is not ready to come to Parliament. We are forced to make this move. We want the most important Manipur issue to be addressed by the Prime Minister. This is our last weapon,” he said.
Aam Aadmi Party MP Raghav Chadha said several parliamentary instruments like no-confidence motion have been used earlier to compel the government to speak on the burning issues of the country. “Through a no-confidence motion, a detailed discussion will take place in Parliament… on important issues… on Manipur. And in the end, the Prime Minister will be forced to address the House,” Chadha said.
VIDEO | "Several such parliamentary instruments like no-confidence motion have been used earlier to compel the government to speak on the burning issues of the country," says AAP MP @raghav_chadha on the opposition moving a no-confidence motion in the Parliament over Manipur… pic.twitter.com/XWKRQkwiVR
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) July 26, 2023
Suspended from the Rajya Sabha for protesting the Manipur violence, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said Team India (Opposition parties) would put their views in the House on Manipur through this motion.
Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal said if the Prime Minister doesn’t have the confidence to come to the House and make a statement about Manipur, how can India have any confidence in him. “The clashes started on 4 May… The Home Minister went to the state only on 29 May… before that they were busy with the Karnataka elections. As if the home minister did not know what was happening… And the Prime Minister remains quiet,” the leader added.
Meanwhile, the BRS, which was not a part of the Opposition meeting in Bengaluru, moved the no-trust motion to “make an effort to make the PM speak”. Party legislator Nageswara Rao said: “If the PM speaks on this, there will be peace among the people of the country.”
Despite not having the numbers, a no-confidence motion is the only means to seek a reply from the Prime Minister, other Opposition leaders said.
CPI’s Binoy Viswam said the motion was “a political move with a political purpose – a move which will bring results”.
“We need a discussion on the issues of the country, especially on Manipur, inside the Parliament. Forget the numbers… they know the numbers and we know the numbers,” Viswam added.
After a morning adjournment, the no-confidence motion against the government was accepted by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday afternoon.
Parliament has done little business this Monsoon Session ever since it started on 20 July with the Opposition adamant on a detailed discussion on Manipur and a comprehensive statement on it by the Prime Minister.
Manipur has been wracked by ethnic clashes since the first week of May among the hill-based Kuki tribes and the valley-based majority Meiteis over the latter’s demand for the Scheduled Tribe status.
The three-month destructive unrest has claimed nearly 150 lives, and displaced thousands, amid large-scale destruction of property.
The ongoing violence made screaming headlines last week when a video emerged showing two women being paraded naked, and pulled into a field where they were allegedly sexually abused.
Modi decried the crime outside Parliament but has so far held out on making a statement in the House, while the Opposition continues to disrupt proceedings in demand of a substantive and exhaustive debate on Manipur. They want in under Rule 267, which would mean that all other business would be suspended during the duration of the discussion.