The opposition protest, which started with demanding immediate discussion on Manipur ethnic violence in Parliament’s ongoing monsoon session, has now reached seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement in both Houses first. Even though Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla on Monday specifically disallowed such a demand saying such a new practice is not in the interest of the nation, the opposition has stuck to their stand.While the first day of the monsoon session on July 20 was adjourned after the opposition MPs demanded suspension of business in both the Houses and immediate discussion on the Manipur violence, the next two days got disrupted as they hardened their stand and demanded a statement from the PM first followed by discussion in both the Houses.Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, in a tweet, said, “It is shameful that the prime minister is making a statement outside the House when Parliament is in session. It is his duty to make a comprehensive statement inside the Parliament on Manipur violence. Therefore, we are requesting the chairman of Rajya Sabha and the speaker of Lok Sabha that the PM should make a statement on what is the situation in Manipur. INDIA stands with Manipur.”
Congress MP and media head Jairam Ramesh also blamed Modi for adjournment of both Houses of Parliament.
He said, “Parliament did not function for the third day because of the continued refusal of the Modi government to accept the demand of INDIA parties for a comprehensive statement by the prime minister in the House on the post-May 3 situation in Manipur to be followed by a discussion. INDIA parties are only reflecting the sentiments of the people of Manipur and indeed of our country. Why is the PM running away from speaking inside the House?”
In another tweet, Ramesh accused home minister Amit Shah of keeping silent on the opposition’s demand for the PM’s statement. “In a desperate bid to manage headlines, the home minister today said that the Modi government is ready for a discussion on Manipur in Parliament. He is not doing anybody any special favour. The perfectly democratic and legitimate demand of the parties comprising INDIA is for a statement by the prime minister on the Manipur situation FIRST followed by a discussion. HM is totally silent on this. What is the hesitation in getting the PM to speak INSIDE Parliament first?” he said.
Congress Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari alleged that the PM had breached parliamentary propriety. “The joint opposition is demanding a statement from @PMOIndia on Manipur in both Houses as it is a breach of parliamentary propriety to speak outside the House when Parliament had commenced and not give a comprehensive statement in both Houses followed by a discussion under the relevant rules for adjournment of business in both Houses.