INDIA has been demanding statement on Manipur from PM but seems by speaking his prestige will be hurt: Kharge

INDIA has been demanding statement on Manipur from PM but seems by speaking his prestige will be hurt: Kharge

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New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Congress president and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday replied to Union Home Minister Amit Shah's letter saying that INDIA has been demanding a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Manipur situation but it seems that making a statement will hurt his prestige.

 In response to a letter written by Shah to him on Tuesday, Kharge said, “I got your letter which is opposite from the facts. You must be knowing that after the May 3 incident in Manipur, the INDIA has been repeatedly demanding a detailed discussion on Manipur situation and a statement by the Prime Minister in both the Houses of Parliament.” The Congress leader said that the kind of grave situation that has been prevailing in Manipur for the last 84 days and the way in which gory details of the incidents there are coming out everyday, it is expected from all the political parties that it will take up the issue in Parliament to work for peace and normalcy there and also give a message to the people. “And we have been demanding the same jointly,” he pointed out. He added that from your letter your emotions and acts look completely different. “Contrary to the spirit of your letter, the attitude of the government has been insensitive and arbitrary in the House. This attitude is not new, the opposition has seen in the last several sessions as well. The opposition is being driven with a whip by keeping the rules and conventions on the shelf,” he highlighted. Small incidents are blown up and then the members are suspended for the whole session despite the rule that the suspension of a member shall not continue for more than one session for the same incident.

He pointed out that the opposition members have been giving notices under Rule 267 for a detailed discussion but the people sitting in the ruling party block the proceedings of the House. “When the Leader of the Opposition rises to speak after the Chairman's permission, the Leader of the House himself, without request and permission from the Chair, interrupts, disrespects the chair and the tradition of the House. This is happening continuously in front of the entire House,” Kharge charged. He said that members of the opposition parties gather in the House after every adjournment with the hope that the proceedings will probably run smoothly again but till now there is only disappointment. He stated that it is easy to express feelings through letters but it is easier to win the confidence of the opposition members present in the House by the conduct.

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kharge said “In a single day, the Prime Minister connects the country's opposition parties with the British rulers and terrorist groups and on the same day, the Home Minister writes an emotional letter and expects a positive attitude from the opposition.” “The lack of coordination between the ruling party and the opposition was visible for years, now this gulf has started appearing even within the ruling party. It is not only absurd but also unfortunate for the Prime Minister to call the opposition parties directionless on this,” he said.

The Congress leader added that they are requesting the Prime Minister to come to the House and give a statement. “But it seems that doing so hurts his prestige. We have commitment towards the people of this country and we will pay any cost for it,” Kharge said. He pointed out that despite being in government for a long time, we (Congress) know that every conduct of both the parties and the opposition is recorded in the pages of history. “Our accountability is to the present generation as well as to the coming generations to tell them that we fought for their rights,” he said. He stated that if the ruling party really wants to run the proceedings of the House smoothly, it can easily be done by giving a chance to the opposition to speak. The Chair can use his authority for this.

“Similarly, the behavior of the Leader of the House can be normal and positive rather than pre-determined-reaction driven. This will be helpful in the smooth running of the House,” he added. During the session, the conduct of the government and the opposition is in front of the House. The whole country including the opposition will see how much similarity there will be between the words and actions of the Home Minister, he noted.

His remarks came a day after Shah wrote to Kharge and Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for their cooperation for a discussion on the Manipur issue in both Houses of Parliament.