Kolaghat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the opposition parties, accusing them of “running away” from Lok Sabha during a debate on the no-confidence motion, and said his government has countered the “negativity being spread” by them across the country.
He also accused the opposition of “not being serious” about the discussion on Manipur as “it would have hurt them the most”.
Modi said an opportunity to find solutions through debates in Parliament could not be utilised as the opposition parties “prioritised their politics over people’s welfare”.
In an apparent reference to the PM’s allegation, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that the Centre has “not taken any action against those involved in unleashing atrocities in Manipur”.
The Prime Minister, who virtually addressed the Panchayati Raj Parishad in West Bengal, criticised the ruling TMC for using “terror and threats” to intimidate the opposition parties in the state during the rural polls last month but acting as “champions of democracy”.
“Only two days back, we had defeated the opposition’s no-confidence motion in Parliament. We had also defeated the negativity being spread by them. The whole country has seen the opposition running away from the House. Unfortunately, they betrayed the people of Manipur,” he said.
The no-confidence motion against the Modi government was defeated through a voice vote in the Lok Sabha on Thursday after opposition MPs staged a walkout.
A no-confidence motion is a formal proposal moved by a member against the government in Lok Sabha under Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the lower House of Parliament.
Before the commencement of the session, the government had written a letter to the opposition parties, saying that the Centre wanted to discuss the Manipur issue, PM Modi said.
“But what happened, you all have seen. The opposition didn’t allow it to happen. Had there been a discussion on such a sensitive subject, the people of Manipur would have felt relieved. Some solutions would have emerged to address that issue.
“But the opposition parties did not want to discuss it as they knew that the truth of Manipur would sting them the most,” PM Modi said at the BJP event.
He also alleged that the opposition parties “were not serious” about any discussion and “just wanted to do politics” over the Manipur issue.
“They don’t care about pain and suffering of the people. All they care about is politics. That was why they chose to avoid the discussion and prioritised political debates by moving the no-confidence motion,” he said.
Banerjee, however, claimed that the BJP government at the Centre “has not taken any action against those involved in atrocities in the northeastern state”.
Notably, more than 160 people have lost their lives, and several hundred have been injured since the ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur on May 3, after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute little over 40 per cent and reside in the hill districts.
Claiming that the central government had defeated the no-confidence motion of the opposition parties in Parliament with the “blessings of 140 crore Indians”, PM Modi also urged BJP workers to unmask them before the people of the country.
“The opposition might disrupt the proceedings of the House, but BJP workers and representatives must unmask them before the masses,” he said.
“The faith of people inspires me and boosts my confidence and vigour,” he said, referring to the defeat of the no-confidence motion in Parliament.
PM Modi claimed that “those who act as champions of democracy and question EVM” at the drop of a hat had “undermined” the democratic process in Bengal.
Hitting out at the Congress’ decade-old slogan ‘Garibi hatao’ (eliminate poverty), the prime minister said, “In reality, they have done nothing to remove poverty and uplift the living conditions of the poor people of the country.”
“In our country, for the last 50 years, slogans were given ‘Garibi Hatao’. But those who gave this slogan could not remove poverty. The question is that the work which could not be done in five decades, how has the BJP done it in such a short time? We have taken steps for the overall development of the poor in the country,” he said.
He listed various projects for the development of eastern India and northeastern India.