PM has time to campaign but has forgotten Manipur: Kharge

PM has time to campaign but has forgotten Manipur: Kharge

IANS Photo

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday said that he will raise the issue of Manipur in Parliament's Monsoon Session and questioned the "silence" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he has time to campaign for elections but has forgotten the northeastern state.

Talking to media at his residence here, Kharge said: "I have also given notice and MPs of several others opposition parties too have given notices to discuss Manipur. But we will have to look if Chairman gives permission to raise this issue as for last 80 days such incident is happening."

Taking a swipe at the Prime Minister, he said, "The Prime Minister is silent and he has visited several countries including France, Egypt and othets. He is silent on Manipur, he could have called a meeting on Manipur but he seems he has forgotten it."

Highlighting the plight of the people of the state, the Congress leader said that people are being robbed, women are being gang-raped but Modiji cannot remember Manipur.

"He has time for calling meeting of 38 parties. He could have gone to Manipur as he has adequate security arrangements, whereas Rahul Gandhi has gone without any such facilities.

"He (Modi) is roaming for election campaigning for last 80 days. Do campaigning but he is ignoring the Manipur. He should have sorted out the issue but he is not interested in that and he wants such situation to prevail," the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said.

When asked if the Congress will demand to send an all party delegation to Manipur, he said, "We (Congress delegation) have gone and came back. Before Opposition parties, the Prime Minister should visit Manipur. We want to have a discussion on Manipur in Parliament and then a delegation of Opposition should be sent."

Earlier in the day, Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan and Mahila Congress chief Netta D'Souza held a press conference at the party headquarters over the shocking video of two women being paraded naked in Manipur by a mob.

Addressing the media, D'Souza said, "PM Modi goes for election tours but has not yet spoken a word on Manipur. Why can't he, as the Prime Minister of the country, appeal to the people of Manipur to have peace? That means Prime Minister Modi wants this to happen."

Slamming the Prime Minister, she said, "It's high time you break your silence. The women of this country are ashamed of you. INDIA will stand up for Manipur." She also said that if the Prime Minister of the country and all the Union Ministers are silent on the Manipur issue, then they want violence to happen in Manipur.

"The Prime Minister will have to take the responsibility of this incident," she said. She also said that we never thought that such inhuman treatment could happen to women in 'New India'.

"So far 150 deaths have taken place in Manipur and more than 65,000 people have been rendered homeless. This is so embarrassing," she said. Meanwhile, Ranjan said that why do women always have to bear the brunt of violence.

"Will it be discussed in the House? Today in Manipur there has been brutality with women. INDIA is demanding answers from the government," she said. She also said that our souls are trembling even thinking about the inhuman treatment meted out to women in Manipur.

"Even after giving the harshest punishment to the criminals, will we be able to restore the dignity of those women? I am asking all the people sitting in the House- Will this be called politics? Will it be called 'All is well'?" Ranjan asked.

Even Congress MP Shashi Tharoor too slammed the government and in a tweet said, "The horrific video of women being paraded naked and sexually assaulted in Manipur some months ago is one more confirmation of how unspeakably shocking the ongoing tragedy in that state is (and has been for nearly three months). Parliament must debate the situation today and the government’s handling of it.

"The Prime Minister's silence is utterly incomprehensible. If there was ever an occasion for an anguished appeal from the prime ministerial “bully pulpit” calling for peace & harmony in our country, Manipur has provided it. Why is the most eloquent orator in our country bafflingly silent?" Tharoor said.

The Congress has slammed the government over the horrific videos of two women being paraded naked by a mob in Manipur on May 4. The Congress has said that it will raise the issue of Manipur violence in Parliament's Monsoon Session.

The Congress has been critical of the government for failing to control the situation in the north eastern state and has demanded immediate removal of the Chief Minister for failing miserably to control the situation. The ethnic violence in Manipur erupted on May 3 and since then over 100 people have died and thousands have been forced to take refuge in the relief camps.

However, referring to the horrific video which went viral on social media of two women being paraded naked in Manipur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the gruesome incident with the women in the Northeastern state is very shameful, and can never be forgiven.

Ahead of beginning of the Monsoon session in the Parliament House, Modi said: "Today, my heart is filled with pain and anger. The incident of Manipur which has surfaced, for any civilised society, this is a very shameful incident."