Congress demands PM's statement on Manipur in Parliament

Congress demands PM's statement on Manipur in Parliament

IANS Photo

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The Congress on Saturday accused the Centre of evading questions on Manipur violence and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak over the issue in Parliament.

Speaking to media at her residence here, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Ranjeet
Ranjan said, “From the government side the Women and Child Development Minister (Smriti Irani) gave a statement. Whenever the government is scared, their ministers come out of their houses to make statements. This is a government which is afraid of the opposition, afraid of coming to the House and avoids questions.”

“We want the Prime Minister to come to the House and discuss the Manipur violence,” the Congress leader said.

Hitting out at the BJP government at the Centre and the state for failing to control the law and order situation, she asked if the intelligence agencies did not give a report to the government about the violence and situation in the northeastern state.

"Didn’t the Union Home Minister (Amit Shah) get the report or Chief Minister
N. Biren Singh was aware of the situation in the state," she asked.

"We have only one demand that the government must give answer in Parliament and tell the nation what is happening in Manipur," she said.

Slamming Manipur Chief Minister, Ranjan said, “The Chief Minister is saying that
the way women have been misbehaved in the viral video, there have been hundreds of incidents in the state and many FIRs . Will the Prime Minister not be aware of this? This is unfortunate that they are doing politics.”

She also targetted the Prime Minister accusing him of doing politics over such a horrific incident and said, “The Prime Minister when he made the statement, he first mentioned about incidents of rape in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and then he mentioned about Manipur. We are against rape which takes place in any of the states. But our very simple demand is that the Prime Minister speak in the House,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.

Hitting out at Irani, she said that as the WCD Minister has said that it is an international issue and also of national security we are also saying the same.  “This is a border area and even drugs are smuggled. Shouldn’t the government answer how the violence has been going on there for the last 80 days,”she said.

She also urged the Women MPs of the BJP to resign from such a party which
does not respect women.

Earlier in the day, Irani while addressing the media in Mumbai, slammed Trinamool Congress and other opposition parties for turning a blind eye to women’s atrocities “happening in several states.”

Commenting on the Manipur viral video, Irani said, “The Manipur issue is not only sensitive by has implications concerning national security and is known to the opposition leaders.”

“However, the opposition leaders did not want to discuss the issue in Parliament, on the floor of Parliament,” she added.

On Thursday, on the first day of the Parliament’s Monsoon session, the Prime
Minister expressed his pain and anger over the Manipur incident and said the gruesome incident with the women in the Northeastern state is very shameful, and can never be forgiven.

He said, "This incident is an insult for the entire nation as it has shamed 140 crore countrymen. The incident which happened with the women in Manipur can never be forgiven. I assure the countrymen that no one will be spared."

However, he went on to club incidents of violence in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh (both Congress-ruled states) also in his statement.

"The incident might be from Rajasthan,Chhattisgarh or Manipur, the culprit
should not go scot-free in any corner of the country,” the Prime Minister

A May 4 video of two women being stripped and paraded by a mob in Manipur went
viral on July 19 leading to widespread condemnation across the country.

Ethnic clashes erupted in Manipur on May 3 and since then hundreds of people have lost their lives whereas thousands have been forced to take refuge in the relief camps.