Why get elected to Parliament if you want to raise issues on streets: Anurag Thakur

The Union Minister slammed the opposition parties over Manipur violence

New Delhi: Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday accused the opposition of running away from a debate in Parliament on the ethnic violence in Manipur and wondered what was the use of getting elected if they wanted to raise issues on the streets.

Thakur's remarks come against the backdrop of an impasse in Parliament since the Monsoon session began on July 20 over discussion on the Manipur situation with the opposition insisting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement in the House.

"If you have to raise issues on the streets, then what is the use of getting elected to the House," Thakur told reporters outside Parliament asserting that the government was ready for a debate on the situation in Manipur.

Home Minister Amit Shah had said that he was ready for a debate in Parliament on the Manipur situation.

"I would request the opposition to please come to the House, take part in the discussion. The government is ready to discuss whatever issue they want to raise. What is the compulsion of the opposition that it is running away from debate," Thakur said.

He claimed that the opposition only looked for reasons to "run away" from the House.

"They only believe in running away and not participating in debate. They want to remain in news, but not take part in the discussion. It is clear that they are resorting to politics in an election year," Thakur said.

A delegation of 21 opposition MPs visited Manipur over the weekend and said they found the situation in the northeastern state "grave" and accused the government of being "indifferent" to the pain of the people.

On Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's suggestion that the ruling party members should also visit Manipur, Thakur wondered whether the opposition leaders were "scared" of visiting West Bengal, which also witnessed violence during the recent Panchayat elections.

"Why did Adhir not take a delegation of 21 MPs to West Bengal? The Congress and the Communists are scared of stepping into West Bengal because they know what happens in Bengal. There is violence, there is murder and other crimes also happen. Have you decided to give up due to fear of the Mamata Banerjee government," the BJP MP said.

He wondered whether the Congress has decided to wash its hands off West Bengal that sends barely one member of the party to Parliament.

Home Minister Amit Shah had spent four days in Manipur and the government was making efforts to restore peace in the northeastern state, Thakur said, adding the opposition should refrain from destabilising the situation in Manipur by "spreading fear" or resorting to "any other provocation".

He claimed that during the UPA government, Manipur used to burn for six months, but the then prime minister and home minister remained silent.

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