On Monday, opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) MPs protested near the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex against the “government’s silence” on the ethnic violence in Manipur, reiterating their call for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to issue a statement.
Mallikarjun Kharge, the Congress chairman, told journalists at the protest site that they were requesting both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha speakers to encourage Modi to come and make a speech on the true situation.
“The PM [Prime Minister] never comes to Parliament and instead sits in his office and listens to what is going on.” We can have a discussion if the Prime Minister makes a speech in Parliament about Manipur.”
He furthermore stated that Rule 267 of the parliamentary procedure allows discussion on such an issue for one hour or the entire day. “But they [the government] do not want that. One says, half an hour discussion and another says short duration discussion. Why you [Modi] are not coming to the House and telling the truth?”
Manickam Tagore, Manish Tewari, and Manoj Jha of the Rashtriya Janata Dal are among those who have moved adjournment motions to discuss Manipur.
On July 19, a video appeared online showing three women being stripped naked and displayed in Manipur. It sparked controversy and resulted in the cancellation of the first two days of the monsoon session last week. The INDIA alliance has maintained its stance on the Manipur discussion in Parliament.
The government declared its willingness to debate in both Houses, which was followed by a response from Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The opposition, though, insisted on Modi’s statement.
At 10 a.m. on Monday, the INDIA alliance partners met at Kharge’s office to plan a strategy for the second week of the session before staging a sit-in at the Gandhi statue over the Manipur issue.
Derek O’Brien, Rajya Sabha floor leader of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), stated on Sunday that INDIA parties will work together on the floor of Parliament and its precincts.