NEW DELHI: The ongoing violence in Manipur is likely to be a flash point between the treasury benches and the opposition in the monsoon session of Parliament commencing on Thursday.
While the principal opposition Congress is adamant on demanding discussion on Manipur as “non-negotiable”, the government has not yet revealed whether it will concede the rival party’s ultimatum.
On Wednesday, Congress MP and general secretary in-charge of communications department Jairam Ramesh said, “Debate on Manipur is a non-negotiable demand…
As I said, the opposition must have its say, the government will have its way. The policy of the government is it’s my way or the highway. It can’t be my way or the highway.”
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien has also asked PM Modi to speak on Manipur in both houses of Parliament. “PM @narendramodi please come to #Parliament and speak in both Houses. Enough of Mann Ki Baat. Time for #Manipur Ki Baat. Or will you stay away Mr PM and disrupt the full #MonsoonSession?” he said.
The Congress leaders, particularly Ramesh, party president Mallikarjun Kharge and former MP Rahul Gandhi have been constantly demanding a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the disturbed situation in Manipur which has been witnessing ethnic violence since May 3.
Questioning the PM’s silence on the issue, the Congress leaders have been asking him to make an appeal to the warring factions for return of peace in the northeastern state.
They demanded Modi’s statements when he was on a visit to the US and then to France. When the PM reportedly inquired from France about the flood situation in Delhi, the Congress leaders said they expected him to do the same about Manipur.
The Congress seems to be in a mood to corner the treasury benches over Manipur. This is reflected in Ramesh’s demand a day ahead of the commencement of the monsoon session of Parliament.
Now it depends upon the government whether it will allow a discussion on Manipur. A denial of the Congress’s demand may lead to ruckus. The session will have 17 sittings and is scheduled to end on August 11.
The last session had witnessed repeated disruptions and pandemonium over the Congress’s demand to institute an inquiry by the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) into the Adani business issue.
Meanwhile, Ramesh also said his party will oppose the bill that would be brought in to replace the Delhi ordinance, which he alleged “curtails constitutional rights and responsibilities of the elected government”.
The monsoon session starts in the backdrop of a renewed unity among the opposition parties with 26 of them meeting in Bengaluru on July 18 and deciding to name their bloc Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA). Their first meeting was held in Patna on June 23 when 16 parties had attended.
The BJP-led NDA consisting of 38 parties also met on Tuesday in New Delhi in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government will continue to work for the development of the nation.
This will also be the first session of Parliament after the inauguration of the new building. The monsoon session will be held in the existing Parliament building though.