New Delhi: Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi on Tuesday said the opposition bloc INDIA was forced to bring the no-confidence motion against the government to break Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “vow of silence” on Manipur. Initiating the debate on the motion in the Lok Sabha, Gogoi alleged that a government that talks about “one India has created two Manipurs — one living in hills and the other in the valley”.
As the lower house took up the motion moved by Gogoi, there were heated exchanges between the opposition and treasury benches after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi wondered why Rahul Gandhi’s name as lead speaker was withdrawn last minute.
Gogoi’s response that should the remarks made by the prime minister in Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s chamber be revealed in the House evoked a sharp retort from Home Minister Amit Shah who said the member cannot make unsubstantiated claims about the PM.
Gogoi submitted his motion — ‘This House expresses want of confidence in the council of ministers’ — before the House and then made his statement.
He said the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) parties were forced to bring the no-confidence motion as this was never about numbers but about justice for Manipur.
“Manipur demands justice. Martin Luther King Jr had said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. If Manipur is burning, the whole of India is burning, if Manipur is divided, the country is divided. It was our demand that as the leader of the country, Prime Minister Modi should come to the House and speak about Manipur. However, he kept a ‘maun vrat (vow of silence) that he will neither speak in the Lok Sabha nor in the Rajya Sabha,” Gogoi said.
“Through the no-confidence motion we want to break his vow of silence,” he said.
Gogoi said he would like to ask the prime minister why had he not gone to Manipur when Rahul Gandhi had gone as had Home Minister Shah and the minister of state for home (Nityanand Rai).
“Why did he (PM Modi) take about 80 days to speak on Manipur and 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 PM the power of his words cannot be matched by ministers,” Gogoi said.
The Congress MP said it is a matter of grave concern that a government that talks about “one India has created two Manipurs — one living in hills and the other in the valley”.
More than 160 people have been killed in the ethnic clashes in Manipur since May 3.
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