Deadlock continues in Parliament over Manipur issue

Union Home minister Amit Shah calls for discussion on Manipur issue amidst ongoing disruptions

| Updated: 24 July, 2023 5:56 pm IST
Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar met floor leaders of all parties at Parliament on Monday

NEW DELHI: The deadlock between the Opposition and the Government over the Manipur issue entered its third day of the Parliamentary Monsoon Session.

The session began with protests and sloganeering on Monday morning, with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs demonstrating against crimes and atrocities against women in non-BJP-ruled states of Rajasthan and West Bengal.

On the other side, the Opposition parties, under their new collective alliance I.N.D.I.A, demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on the Manipur situation in both houses, holding posters that read I.N.D.I.A with Manipur Women.

The heated protests and adjournments marked the day, with Parliament witnessing disruptions and adjournments multiple times, ultimately leading to the session being postponed to the following day, Tuesday. However, amidst the chaos, Union Minister Amit Shah took the floor in Lok Sabha and expressed his willingness to discuss the matter. He urged the Opposition to allow a constructive discussion on the sensitive issue, emphasising the importance of revealing the truth to the nation.

“I am ready for discussion on this in the House. I request that the Opposition let a discussion take place on this issue. It is important that the country gets to know the truth on this sensitive matter,” Shah said.

Simultaneously, in the Rajya Sabha, amid the ongoing sloganeering by the Opposition on the Manipur issue, the House was adjourned for the day due to the protest against the suspension of AAP MP Sanjay Singh. Singh had been suspended for the entire Monsoon Session earlier in the day after his disruptive protest near the Chairman concerning the Manipur violence.

Following the adjournments, Vice-President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Jagdeep Dhankhar, called for a meeting with the floor leaders of all parties in Parliament. He sought their cooperation in ensuring the smooth conduct of the House, but the efforts to reach a consensus seemed to face an uphill battle.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament commenced on July 20, initially marred by public outrage over a viral video showing two women from Manipur being paraded naked by a mob. Since then, disruptions, adjournments, and uproar have been a common occurrence in Parliament as the Manipur issue continues to create tensions between the Opposition and the Government.

Several MPs voiced their concerns during the session. Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan expressed her dismay over the government’s reluctance to address the issue domestically while it garnered international attention. She called for introspection in states governed by the ruling party, such as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and others, urging them to focus on the ongoing crimes against women within their territories.

“It’s a shame that Manipur has been talked about internationally, but the government doesn’t want to speak in the country. And the states that they are talking of are strong opponents of lead states. First, ask them to check what’s happening in their own governed states like MP, UP and other remaining states by the time these states also do not remain in their hands,” she said.

In response, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal urged the Opposition to consider discussing not only the Manipur situation but also the atrocities against women happening in Bengal and Rajasthan. He questioned the Opposition’s objections to discussing crimes against women in those states.

“It is okay to discuss Manipur, but there should also be a discussion on the atrocities against women happening in Bengal and Rajasthan. But what is the objection of the opposition to discussing the crime against women in Bengal and Rajasthan,” Meghwal said.

Amid the ongoing disputes, the Parliament was also scheduled to address important bills. The Lok Sabha listed the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, 2023; The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023; and The National Dental Commission Bill, 2023. Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha’s agenda included The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Third Amendment) Bill, 2022, and The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2022.

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