Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, attacked the BJP administration harshly on Wednesday for how it handled the Manipur crisis. He labeled the BJP administration as “anti-national” and charged that it had divided the Northeastern state in half. Speaking to the Lower House during the discussion of the motion of no-confidence in the Centre, the Congress leader attacked the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi harshly for the violence in Manipur and the current fighting in Nuh, Haryana. Rahul stated: “From Manipur to Nuh, you have set the entire country on fire.”
On Wednesday, when the no-confidence discussion resumed, Rahul Gandhi was the first to speak. The Congress politician began his first address in Parliament after being re-instated as an MP as a result of a recent Supreme Court decision by expressing his regret to the Lok Sabha Speaker for mentioning industrialist Gautam Adani in his previous speech. “Speaker Sir, first of all, I would like to thank you for reinstating me as an MP of the Lok Sabha. When I spoke the last time, perhaps I caused you trouble because I focussed on Adani – maybe your senior leader was in pain…That pain might have had an impact on you as well. I apologise to you for that. But I spoke the truth. Today, my friends in BJP need not be scared because my speech today is not on Adani,” he stated.
He continued his statement by calling members of the ruling party “traitors” and accusing the Centre of “murdering Bharat Mata in Manipur”. “I used the word ‘Manipur’ but the truth is that Manipur does not remain anymore. You have divided Manipur into two. You have divided and broken Manipur,” Rahul said, amid loud uproar from the treasury benches. For PM Modi, the Congress leader said, “Manipur is not India”. “You have murdered the voice of India, which means you have murdered Bharat Mata in Manipur… My mother is sitting here. The other mother, Bharat Mata, you killed in Manipur,” he mentioned, pointing to Sonia Gandhi who was present in the House.
On May 3, shortly after the outbreak of violence in the northeastern state, the Congressman reflected on some of his experiences while there. “I asked a woman, ‘What happened to you?’ She said, ‘My small son, an only child, was shot before my eyes. I spent the whole night with the body of my child and then I felt afraid. I left my house’. I asked her if she had brought along something with her and she said only the clothes she was wearing and a photo.”
His remarks sparked raucous protests from the Treasury benches, and Union minister Kiren Rijiju demanded an apology from the Congress leader. On behalf of the opposition coalition INDIA, the Congress has filed the no-confidence resolution. Gaurav Gogoi of the Congress started the discussion on Tuesday. On Thursday, the prime minister’s response will serve as its conclusion.