After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-hour long address on the no-confidence motion in Parliament, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed dismay and voiced his disapproval of the Prime Minister's demeanor during his speech.
Asserting that instead of addressing the serious developments concerning violence in Manipur, PM Modi seemed to be making light-hearted remarks and sharing laughter while his party colleagues were engaged in slogans, he said at a press conference on Friday.
Rahul Gandhi stated, "The Prime Minister appears to be unconcerned about the grave situation in Manipur. I observed him addressing Parliament with laughter, jokes, and his colleagues chanting slogans. It is disheartening to witness the Prime Minister seemingly disregarding the fact that Manipur has been gripped by intense unrest for four months."
Gandhi emphasized that this behavior was unbecoming of a Prime Minister, especially when the state of Manipur was grappling with distressing circumstances. He highlighted the distressing reports of women and children losing their lives, people falling victim to violent acts, and instances of assault and rape. "This is not just about me or the Congress Party; it transcends political affiliations. This pertains to India as a whole," he asserted.
The Wayanad MP also underlined that the dire situation in Manipur was emblematic of the country's deterioration, primarily attributed to the political strategies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He accused the BJP of practicing divisive politics, contributing to a climate of fragmentation and turmoil.
On Bharat Mata Issue
"In my speech, I mentioned that Manipur has witnessed the demise of the concept of 'Bharat Mata,' a symbol that represents the idea of a united and harmonious India. Regrettably, even the term 'Bharat Mata' was expunged from the parliamentary records, which I find deeply disrespectful. I firmly believe that the principles of 'Bharat Mata' entail peaceful coexistence and mutual respect among all citizens, and this essence has been compromised in Manipur," Gandhi remarked, referring to his remarks being expunged from Wednesday's parliamentary session.
Rahul Gandhi pointed out the paradox that now the phrase 'Bharat Mata' could not be uttered within the Parliament house, illustrating the extent of the issue. He shared his personal experience of visiting all states during his 19 years in politics and expressed his shock at the unique intensity of the situation in Manipur. He recalled encountering explicit instructions to avoid the inclusion of specific groups in his security entourage due to prevailing tensions.
The Congress leader highlighted the stark assessment of security forces, who were taken aback by the unprecedented circumstances in Manipur. He used strong language to convey his viewpoint: "I firmly asserted that Manipur has been victimized by the BJP, and the very essence of India has been compromised within the state. My statement was not metaphorical; it was a direct reflection of the grim reality."
Gandhi indicated that the Indian Army had the capacity to swiftly address the ongoing violence if instructed to do so, expressing his faith in their capabilities. He criticized the Prime Minister for not taking decisive action and allowing the situation in Manipur to deteriorate further. He questioned the reasons behind Modi's failure to visit Manipur despite the prolonged unrest.
Rahul Gandhi compared the behavior of Prime Ministers from various political backgrounds, highlighting the distinction between Modi and his predecessors. When asked about the Congress Party's intended course of action, he refrained from providing specifics but stressed the urgency of extinguishing the flames of unrest in Manipur. "India is suffering in Manipur; let us work swiftly to rebuild it," he urged.
(With inputs from IANS)