The Lok Sabha witnessed a fierce debate yesterday as the Opposition tabled a No-Confidence Motion against the BJP-led government, accusing the Centre of creating a great divide in Manipur.
Here are the top 10 updates on this big story
The Opposition, which has brought the No-Confidence Motion despite lacking in numbers, admitted that it was a method to compel the Prime Minister to speak on Manipur, which has dominated the monsoon session of parliament.
Initiating the debate in the Lok Sabha, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi 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. He alleged that a government which talks about “one India” has created “two Manipurs — one living in the hills and the other in the valley”.
Home Minister Amit Shah accused the Opposition of running away from a debate on Manipur. “The question is Manipur situation and what steps the government is taking there, not a show of strength by voting. If you want voting, I dare you to make this bill fall through voting,” Mr Shah said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reply to the debate on Thursday. He chaired the BJP’s Parliamentary Party meeting yesterday ahead of the big vote. Taking a swipe at the INDIA alliance, the Prime Minister reportedly said that this is not a vote to express distrust in the government, but to see who can trust whom in the opposition. “It’s a test of their own internal trust,” he reportedly said.
In recent weeks, PM Modi has frequently attacked the opposition bloc for calling itself INDIA, accusing the parties, particularly the Congress, of attempting a rebranding to whitewash their past record as the former UPA or United Progressive Alliance.
Top ministers – Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani and Jyotiraditya Scindia are expected to speak in Lok Sabha today. Union minister Kiren Rijiju, who participated in the debate yesterday, said the Opposition will regret bringing the No-Confidence Motion because it comes at the “wrong time and the wrong manner”, given India’s current stature in the world.
Sources say Rahul Gandhi, who was reinstated in parliament yesterday, will speak in Parliament tomorrow. On August 4, the Supreme Court had stayed his conviction in the criminal defamation case over the “Modi Surname” remark.
The session, which started on July 20, has been continually disrupted by Opposition protests. The opposition contends that in view of the 170-plus deaths, injuries and displacements of thousands of people since the ethnic violence broke out in May, there is nothing more urgent that can demand the Prime Minister’s attention.
The government has argued that after major violence took place in Manipur in 1993 and 1997, no statement was made in the Parliament in one case and in the other, the junior home minister had given a statement.
The Lok Sabha currently has 539 members who will vote in the motion, of which the majority mark will be 270. The BJP alone has 301, while its allies have had 31 more votes. The opposition INDIA alliance has 143 while parties like KCR’s BRS, YS Jagan Reddy’s YSRCP, and Naveen Patnaik’s BJD have a combined strength of 70. YSRCP (22) and BJD (12) are also expected to back the government.
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