The Congress and Union Ministers sparred on Day 1 of the discussion on the no-confidence vote against the Narendra Modi administration over the situation in Manipur, which has been the scene of ethnic conflicts since May.
The government, according to the Congress, divided Manipur severely.
The debate’s moderator, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “vow of silence” on Manipur was broken by the opposition moving the no-confidence vote against the government.
“We are forced to introduce the motion of no confidence. Never was this about the numbers; always was it about Manipur’s fairness. I am the one who made the motion asking this House to vote against the government. This motion has been filed on behalf of Manipur by INDIA. Manipur needs justice, according to Gogoi.
He also questioned why N Biren, the chief minister of Manipur, has not yet been removed from office.
“Why has he not yet travelled to Manipur? Why did it take him over 80 days to talk on Manipur, and why did he just speak for 30 seconds when he did? Why hasn’t the Chief Minister been removed from office yet? Gogoi enquired.
Around six o’clock in the evening, the discussion came to an end.
The YSRCP, Shiv Sena, JDU, BJD, BSP, BRS, and LJP were allotted a total of two hours, divided according to the number of MPs from each party in the House.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to give a reply on August 10.
Opposition members have been seeking discussion under Rule 267 in the Rajya Sabha since the beginning of the monsoon session of Parliament on July 20.
Manipur had been on the boil for the last three months after ethnic clashes broke out between two tribal communities Meitis and Kukis, when the Manipur High Court asked the state government to consider adding one of the communities to the list of Scheduled Tribes.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who was reinstated as MP of Lok Sabha following the verdict of the Supreme Court that stayed his conviction in the Modi surname remark case, was also expected to speak on the motion but did not speak. Now, he is likely to speak on the same on Wednesday.
Responding to the last-minute change in the Congress speakers’ list BJP MP Nishikant Dubey took a dig at Rahul Gandhi and said that “Maybe Rahul Gandhi wasn’t ready today or maybe he woke late. Gaurav Gogoi spoke well. I am a victim of the turbulent times of Manipur. My uncle suffered there and was injured.”
Initiating his party’s debate on the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha, BJP MP Dubey took a jibe at Sonia Gandhi and also hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
“This no-confidence motion has been brought. Why has this been brought? Sonia ji (Gandhi) is sitting here…I think she has to do two things – “Bete (son) ko set karna hai aur Damad (son-in-law) ko bhent karna hai” (She wants to set up his son [Rahul Gandhi] and wants to gift his son-in-law). …That is the base of this motion,” Dubey said.
The former Congress President was seen laughing at the BJP MP’s remark.
This motion is against the son of a poor man who gave houses, drinking water, toilets to the people. It is against the poor, the BJP MP said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing his second no-confidence motion in Parliament today, the first in his second term as the PM.
However, Modi’s government won’t lose the vote as his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies have a majority in parliament.
But opposition leaders say the debate will force Modi to speak on ongoing ethnic clashes in Manipur state.
Any Lok Sabha MP, who has the support of 50 colleagues, can, at any point of time, introduce a motion of no-confidence against the Council of Ministers.
Thereafter, a discussion on the motion takes place. MPs who support the motion highlight the government’s shortcomings, and the Treasury Benches respond to the issues they raise.
After this, a vote takes place and in case the motion carries, the government is bound to vacate the office. However, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, while arguing against the motion, said that the Congress will regret it later.
“This no-confidence motion has been brought at a wrong time and in a wrong manner. The Congress party will regret it later,” Union minister Kiren Rijiju said in Lok Sabha.
The minister further slammed the previous UPA government at the Centre for “racial discrimination and atrocities” faced by the people from Northeast in the national capital.
“Before 2014, many people from the Northeast faced racial discrimination and atrocities in Delhi and other major cities of the country. After 2014 the situation changed, and the DGP conference was held in Guwahati for the first time after independence. During this meeting, the PM directed that police must ensure the security of people from the Northeast,” Kiren Rijiju said in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Further, hitting out the Opposition bloc I.N.D.I.A– the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, Rijiju said that the name of the coalition will not help the parties when they are working “against India”.
Speaking in support of the Motion of No Confidence in the Lok Sabha today, the Congress MP cornered the government on increasing the trade deficit with China despite its aggressively hostile attitude towards India and asked whether the country (India) was financing the Chinese aggression against itself.
Pointing towards the prevailing situation in violence-hit Manipur, Congress Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari on Tuesday said that when there is unrest in any northeastern state it affects the entire northeast region and the country.
Meanwhile, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) did not support the motion, saying that it would be “resoundingly defeated”.
BJD MP Pinaki Misra said that his party cannot support the no-trust motion as the Central government has done many things for Odisha.
“I cannot support a No-Confidence Motion against a Central Government today, even though we are against the BJP as a political party…I am grateful for the many things that the Central Government has done for Odisha which is why, in any case, I am unable to persuade myself on behalf of my party and leader to support a No-Confidence Motion today which has been brought by the Congress party,” BJP MP Misra said in Lok Sabha.
He further said that the motion which was brought by the Congress will not benefit the party.
“I have no doubt that the no-confidence motion against the PM Modi-led government will be resoundingly defeated and it will be rejected. I think it will not at all benefit the Congress to have brought this motion at this point of time,” he added. (ANI)