New Delhi, Aug 10 (The Street Press) – On Thursday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi easily quashed a vote of no-confidence brought by the opposition regarding his management of a lethal ethnic dispute in Manipur. In a two-hour address, he brushed aside the action as a futile endeavor to “defame India.”
Since May, over 180 individuals have lost their lives, with hundreds more injured and tens of thousands left without homes in Manipur. However, Modi didn’t publicly acknowledge the violence until just last month.
As anticipated, the no-confidence motion put forth by a fresh opposition alliance named “INDIA,” led by Congress, was readily thwarted. Opposition legislators staged a walkout from the legislative session in protest even before the vote took place.
Critics argued that Modi’s decision not to publicly acknowledge the ethnic conflict in a state governed by his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) further solidified the notion that, when it comes to domestic affairs, his party’s interests and the Hindu nationalist constituency take precedence.
“They love to defame India, they have no faith in the people of India, in the abilities of India,” Modi remarked during his 130-minute speech, infused with patriotic sentiments and rhetorical embellishments.
He continued in Hindi, “They have tried in vain to break the self-confidence of Indians with this no-confidence vote.” BJP legislators expressed their support by enthusiastically pounding their desks and frequently exclaiming “Modi, Modi.”
Concluding a three-day parliamentary debate, Modi delivered a speech that resembled an election address, highlighting his nine-year tenure’s accomplishments while criticizing his opponents’ track record.
Congress, viewed as the primary competitor to Modi’s BJP, bore the brunt of these criticisms.
This standoff has intensified the political climate, occurring eight months ahead of the scheduled national elections in the world’s largest democracy and one of its rapidly growing economies, slated for April-May 2024. Surveys indicate that Modi retains substantial popularity and is widely predicted to secure a third term.
FOCUS ON PEACE IN MANIPUR
Last Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi, a leader from the Congress party, sharply criticized Modi’s approach to Manipur, accusing his administration of causing divisions, fracture, and destruction in the state.
While Modi addressed the assembly on Thursday, opposition legislators consistently chanted “Manipur, Manipur,” aiming to prompt him to address the issue.
Around 75 minutes into Modi’s speech, Rahul Gandhi entered the parliament, and roughly 15 minutes later, the entire opposition withdrew from the session.
According to a statement from Congress, the INDIA alliance left the session because they believed Modi was evading the topic of Manipur and disregarding justice, along with neglecting the country’s other urgent concerns.
Modi discussed Manipur after the opposition had walked out from the proceedings.
The way in which efforts are being made, there will soon be peace in Manipur,” he said.
“I also want to appeal to the people of Manipur, the country is with you, this house is with you, we will all join hands and find a solution to this challenge,” Modi said.
“Let us walk together, not use Manipur for political games … understand their pain and find a solution.”
On Wednesday, Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister under Modi’s leadership, attributed the ethnic conflict in Manipur to the turmoil in Myanmar. He called on both conflicting parties to engage in dialogue to find a resolution.