'PM was cracking jokes while Manipur was on fire': Rahul Gandhi
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his speech in the Lok Sabha during a no-confidence motion, saying that it does not behove the PM to laugh and crack jokes in Parliament when Manipur has been "on fire" for over three months.
Rahul Gandhi said that watching the PM spend two hours talking about Opposition and making ridiculous remarks about the coalition name I.N.D.I.A. is "tragic" adding that this does not do "justice to an Indian Prime Minister."
Yesterday the PM spoke in Parliament for about 2 hours and 13 minutes. In the end, he spoke on Manipur for 2 minutes. Manipur has been burning for months, people are being killed, and rapes are happening but the PM was laughing, cracking jokes. It doesn't behove him...", the Congress MP said during a press briefing at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in Delhi.
Rahul Gandhi further said that PM Modi has a "complete misunderstanding about what the Prime Minister of India is".
"When the Prime Minister becomes a Prime Minister, he ceases to be a politician. He becomes the representative of the country. The politics should be put aside and the Prime Minister should not speak as a petty politician, or like a leader of a political party but the Prime Minister should speak with the weight of the Indian people behind him", he said.
Further, Rahul Gandhi added, "And it is tragic to watch Mr Narendra Modi, it is sad. Because the Prime Minister does not understand what he actually is. He is our representative. He is my representative. He is all our representative. And watching the Prime Minister spend two hours talking about the Congress party, talking about the Opposition, making ridiculous remarks about the name. This really does not do justice to an Indian Prime Minister. I have seen Prime Ministers from the Congress party. I have seen Prime Ministers from the BJP, I have seen previous Prime Ministers including Mr Vajpayee, Mr Deve Gowda, none of them have ever done this. This is a complete misunderstanding in the mind of Narendra Modi ji about what the Prime Minister of India is…"
Emphasising that the Indian Army is capable enough to resolve the situation and bring normalcy in the state, he said, "Indian Army can stop this nonsense, drama in two days but PM wants to burn Manipur and does not want to extinguish the fire."
Reiterating that PM Modi should visit strife-torn state of Manipur and set aside the talks of next general elections, the Congress MP further alleged that he does not see any intention of the Prime Minister to visit Manipur and talk to the communities (Kuki and Meitei).
"PM at least could go to Manipur, talk to communities and say I am your PM, let's start talking but I don't see any intention...", he said.
The Congress MP elaborated why he said that Manipur has been divided on ethnic lines, "In 19 years of experience, I have never seen what I saw and heard in Manipur. In Parliament, I said 'PM aur Amit Shah Ji Ne Bharat Mata Ki Hatya Ki Hai, Manipur mein Bharat ko khatam kar diya'. I didn't say like this, These are not empty words. Let me explain to you, why is said this...In Manipur, when we visited the Meitei area, we were clearly told that if there is any Kuki in your security detail, they should not be brought here as they will kill the person. When we went to the Kuki area, we were told that they will shoot down any Meitei person we bring...So, it is not one state, there are two states. State ki hatya ki gayi hai aur usko cheer diya gaya hai...".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday described the violence-hit Manipur as a "piece of one's heart", and said that all efforts will be made to restore peace in the northeastern state which will soon walk the path of progress.
"The north-east is our 'jigar ka tukda'. The problems of Manipur are presented in such a manner as if they had begun in the recent past," Modi said.
He assured the people of the strife-torn northeastern state that peace shall soon return as the government is doing everything possible to punish the accused.
"The country is with you; this Parliament is with you. We will together find ways to resolve this challenge, peace will be established again soon. I assure the people of Manipur that the state will again witness progress," Modi said.
The Prime Minister also appealed to all Opposition parties to involve in a collective effort to gain the trust of the people of Manipur and asked them not to exploit the situation in the northeastern state for political gains.
"I want to request the MPs of the Parliament to understand the value of this time. Come and proceed together. In this country, there have been more serious issues in the past, but we found a way to work together. Let's come together. Take people of Manipur in confidence. Don't take advantage of Manipur for doing politics. What has happened there in Manipur is unfortunate. Understand their pain and work for healing it. This should be our only way," PM Modi said while concluding his speech on the debate on no-confidence motion.
He further said that serious crimes against women took place in Manipur and it is unforgivable.
"The central and state governments are making all possible efforts to ensure the strictest punishment to those guilty. I want to assure people of the country that peace will be restored and Manipur will move ahead with new self-confidence," he added.
Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A) staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply to the motion of no confidence.
However, the no-confidence motion was defeated in the Lok Sabha.
The NDA defeated the no-confidence motion comfortably with a voice vote in the Lok Sabha.
The three days of the motion witnessed a fierce battle between the ruling and the Opposition coalitions over the Manipur violence and other raging issues.
The opposition moved a no-confidence motion against the Modi government on July 26 which was taken up by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.