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Government’s Silence on Manipur Sparks Parliamentary Debate Demand

The government’s readiness to debate in both Houses, along with Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s reply, has been met with strong insistence from the Opposition on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement. The issue at hand is the ethnic violence in Manipur, which has become a contentious topic in Indian politics.

Opposition’s Protest for Modi’s Statement

Lawmakers from the Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) staged a protest near the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex, voicing their discontent with the government’s silence on the Manipur situation. They reiterated their demand for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make a statement regarding the matter.

Speaking at the protest site, Congress Chief Mallikarjun Kharge stated that they have requested the presiding officers of both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha to urge Modi to address the real situation in Manipur. Kharge highlighted the fact that the Prime Minister seldom visits the Parliament chambers, choosing instead to remain in his office and be briefed on the proceedings. The Opposition firmly believes that a statement from the Prime Minister in the Parliament would pave the way for a fruitful discussion on the Manipur issue.

Demand for Discussion on Manipur

Rule 267 of the parliamentary procedure provides an avenue for discussion on pressing issues, allowing for either a one-hour debate or an entire day’s discussion. The Congress lawmakers, along with Manickam Tagore, Manish Tewari, and Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha, have already moved adjournment motions to initiate discussions on the situation in Manipur.

The trigger for this demand was a video that emerged on July 19, showing three women being stripped naked and paraded in Manipur. This shocking incident sparked outrage across the nation and resulted in the first two days of the monsoon session being washed out.

Unity Among INDIA Parties

The INDIA alliance partners held a meeting at Kharge’s office to devise a strategy for the second week of the parliamentary session, highlighting their collective stance on the Manipur issue. The alliance aims to work in unison on the parliamentary floor and its precincts.

Counter-Protest by Bharatiya Janata Party

In response to the Opposition’s protest, the Bharatiya Janata Party staged a counter-protest, drawing attention to what they perceived as the Opposition’s silence on crimes against women in Congress-ruled Rajasthan and TMC-governed West Bengal.

Government’s Legislative Plans

While the Manipur issue remained a point of contention, the government planned to pass the MultiState Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022, in the Lok Sabha. Additionally, a bill aimed at replacing the ordinance granting control of bureaucrats in Delhi to the Union government was expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha during the week.

Parliamentary Functioning during Monsoon Session

During the first two days of the monsoon session, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha functioned for only 5% and 8% of their respective time. Consequently, no questions or issues could be raised during the Question Hour or Zero Hour.

The situation in Manipur has become a pressing matter that demands open discussion and resolution. The government’s readiness to debate is evident, but the insistence on Prime Minister Modi’s statement by the Opposition has added complexity to the parliamentary proceedings. As the week unfolds, it remains to be seen how the debate on Manipur will progress and if a viable resolution can be reached through dialogue and collaboration between the government and the Opposition.