Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tore into the opposition today over not letting parliament function by “changing goal posts” over the Manipur crisis.
She said the government has agreed to discuss the Manipur ethnic violence in parliament, but the opposition has not allowed that to happen.
“People have come to Manipur, spoken to people there and come back. We want to hear what they heard from people in Manipur,” Ms Sitharaman told reporters today.
“Who is stopping them from bringing this up in parliament? They have been asking for a discussion in parliament, what stops them? It is clear the opposition has been shedding crocodile tears. If their concerns were genuine, they would have allowed parliament discussion,” Ms Sitharaman said.
A group of MPs of the newly formed opposition grouping INDIA had gone to Manipur for two days last week and met displaced people in relief camps.
“This is a clear exposure of the hypocrisy of the opposition. By saying ‘Manipur, Manipur’, they have absolutely disturbed parliament’s functioning. First they say they want to discuss Manipur. Fine, we bring up the matter, then they don’t want to discuss, only disturb parliament’s functioning,” Ms Sitharaman said.
“The opposition’s mindset is as black as the clothes they wore,” she added.
The opposition has been demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak on the Manipur issue in parliament.
The Rajya Sabha saw chaotic scenes this afternoon as the impasse over the rule under which Manipur violence should be discussed dragged on for the eighth day.
“I will remind you, during the UPA’s time, when Manipur saw a road blockade for almost a year, no Home Minister went there. But Home Minister Amit Shah spent three days in Manipur. He went from relief camps to camps, met people. Who was the Home Minister in UPA’s time who went to Manipur? Maybe a Minister of State went,” Ms Sitharaman said, adding Manipur is a very sensitive issue, which the opposition has exploited.
The opposition kept pressing for a discussion under Rule 267, which allows for a suspension of all other business in the House. Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said the government was ready for a short duration discussion under Rule 176.
The opposition, adamant to get the Prime Minister speak on the issue, has also brought a no-confidence motion against the government in a last-ditch attempt. More drama in Parliament is expected this week as the government preps to introduce a bill to control Delhi bureaucrats.
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