India’s parliament is debating a no-confidence motion that opposition parties have brought against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
Congress party lawmaker Gaurav Gogoi, who had brought in the motion on 26 July, initiated the debate.
Lawmakers will vote on the motion on Thursday after the debate ends.
Mr 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 Mr Modi to speak on ongoing ethnic clashes in Manipur state.
Speaking in the house, Mr Gogoi said that the opposition had brought the motion to “break Mr Modi’s silence” on Manipur. He also asked why Mr Modi had not yet visited the state.
The current parliament session, which began on 20 July, has been marked by protests from opposition leaders who have demanded that Mr Modi address the house on the violence in Manipur.
More than 150 people have died and tens of thousands have been displaced in Manipur since early May, when ethnic clashes broke out between the majority Meitei group and the tribal Kuki minority.
Federal Home Minister Amit Shah has said that the government was ready to discuss the issue and accused the opposition of “running away”.
Some key bills have been passed amid the disruption and protests with little debate.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi – who was reinstated as a lawmaker on Monday – was expected to open the debate in parliament for the opposition on Tuesday. Reports say he will speak later in the day.
This is the second time that Mr Modi’s government is facing a no-confidence motion since it came to power in 2014. In 2018, a lawmaker had moved a motion over the issue of granting a special category status to Andhra Pradesh state. It was defeated after a 12-hour debate.
The no-confidence debate will be a chance for a newly formed opposition alliance of 26 parties – called INDIA – to display their unity. The alliance, which was formed in July – aims to take on Mr Modi’s BJP in the general election next year.
Mr Modi is expected to reply to the debate on Thursday.
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