BJP misusing suffering of women in Manipur to promote whataboutery: Tharoor
The BJP has been questioning the opposition in atrocities against women in West Bengal, Rajasthan and Bihar, which has termed it as a tactic to avoid debate on the situation in violence-hit Manipur
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday accused the BJP of "misusing" the tragic suffering of women in the "Manipur horror story" to promote "whataboutery" by citing attacks on women in Opposition-ruled states.
The BJP has been raising the incidents of atrocities against women in West Bengal, Rajasthan and Bihar and questioning the "silence" of the opposition, which has termed it as a diversionary tactic to avoid debate on the situation in violence-hit Manipur.
Asked about the opposition's demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should make a statement on Manipur, Tharoor told reporters outside Parliament, "I think this is an understandable point of view (from opposition's perspective). The biggest issue facing the nation today is that a state of ours is burning, there are already consequences for the neighbouring state of Mizoram. We are looking at a situation of such great importance that no one less than the chief executive of the government can speak on it to begin with after which the home minister and others can play their part." "The prime minister saw fit to speak to the media outside Parliament when Parliament is in session, that is not acceptable. The prime minister is accountable to Parliament, that is the whole logic of a parliamentary democracy," he said.
In a tweet, Tharoor said the tragic suffering of women in the "Manipur horror story" is being misused by the ruling party to promote "whataboutery" by citing attacks on women in Opposition-ruled states.
"Whenever such shameful incidents have occurred, the state governments have acted promptly and in sympathy with the victims, whereas in Manipur the authorities are complicit and seeking to suppress the truth rather than act against the perpetrators," the MP from Thiruvananthapuram alleged.
"The hue and cry over these atrocities is also being misused to obscure and conceal the ethnic and communal elements of the Manipur conflict, the desecration and burning of churches, the extremism of revivalist groups, and the overlay of a vicious drug-smuggling trade thriving under the protection of the powerful," he said.
None of these elements can be found in any opposition-ruled state, Tharoor added.
The government has agreed to hold a short-duration discussion on the Manipur issue with the Home Minister replying to it, but the opposition is adamant on its demand for the prime minister's statement first.
Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have failed to transact any significant business during the Monsoon session amid the stalemate between the opposition and the government over the Manipur issue.