PM gripped with 'Cong-phobia' so just attacked party, spoke so little on Manipur: Cong
Opposition MPs staged a walkout from Lok Sabha as PM Modi was replying, alleging that there was no reference to Manipur in the first 90 minutes of his speech
The Congress on Thursday, August 10, hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he is gripped with a "Congress-phobia" and that is why he criticised the party throughout his speech and spoke about the Manipur violence only for a short time during his reply to a debate on the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha.
Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi also alleged that the BJP's nationalism is "fake" and "they are not patriots".
Opposition MPs staged a walkout from Lok Sabha when Modi was replying, alleging that there was no reference to Manipur in the first 90 minutes of his speech.
Gogoi said the BJP was "hiding its failures" in Manipur and expressed the hope that the INDIA alliance parties would defeat the BJP in the 2024 elections.
He said the prime minister spoke for two hours during which he criticised the Congress for most of the time instead of speaking on Manipur and sharing the pain of the people there.
"... In these two hours, all he did was to twist the name of our country - India. There is a Congress-phobia inside that we can see because the prime minister spent most of his time blaming the Congress party.
"No doubt, seeing the unity of INDIA parties in front of him shouting INDIA, INDIA, has spooked the prime minister. Therefore, instead of speaking about Manipur, he spent most of his time criticising the Congress party," Gogoi told reporters after they staged the walkout.
"No matter his speech, we are confident that our parties stand united for a common vision to save and protect the values of our Constitution, to preserve the values of our civilisation and to preserve the integrity, fraternity, liberty and equality, rights and principles that are enshrined in our Constitution. We are confident that the INDIA alliance will win in 2024," he said.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh shared the remarks of Gogoi, who moved the no-confidence motion, and said he explained "why INDIA parties walked out of Lok Sabha after listening for more than 70 minutes to the prime minister's election sloganeering, abuse of INDIA and obstinate refusal to address the reasons behind the no-confidence motion, especially Manipur".
Gogoi said for two hours, Modi only "defamed" the name of our country.
"Having not answered the three questions that we raised, for denying the representatives of Manipur their right to speak in Parliament, for giving the chief minister of Manipur who has failed the people of Manipur a clean chit, for being silent on wrestlers, for being silent on Chinese intrusion in India, for being silent on inflation and for being silent on remarks of former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satyapal Malik and for being silent on issues of national security, the INDIA alliance partners decided to walk out," he said.
He said the BJP wanted to suppress the truth about Manipur and that is why the two BJP MPs from the state were not allowed to speak.
It is clear that they wanted to hide the truth of Manipur, Gogoi alleged.
He said Ravana thought he was very intelligent, but his arrogance brought his downfall. "We have seen that BJP's arrogance and the arrogance of the prime minister and that of Home Minister Amit Shah's, there is fire in Manipur." "That is what the BJP is doing to do, to cover up for their failures in Manipur. And that is why their nationalism is fake nationalism. They are not patriots, they are bent on dividing our country," he said.
Congress General Secretary K C Venugopal termed the prime minister's speech "dull, boring and unoriginal".
"Even though INDIA compelled PM Modi to give up his boycott of Parliament and break his silence on Manipur, this was a speech that leaves the Indian people confused and sorely disappointed. In a 2 hour 13 minute speech, he had 3 minutes of empty platitudes on Manipur, and he hid behind his already-flopped Home Minister, or the same old drivel about the past," he posted on X, formerly Twitter.
"Mr. Modi, you cannot twist history and shirk responsibility for your criminal failure in handling Manipur. Your words of 'economic development' in Manipur are hollow, with no solution for peace whatsoever," he said.
He said Mod's long monologue of "WhatsApp forwards" was a weak attempt to whitewash this government's "failures" of unemployment, price rise, farmers’ distress, "terrible condition" of women’s safety, and an atmosphere of hatred.
"The people of India will show their no-confidence in you in 2024," he said.
Opposition MPs were seen chanting 'Manipur, Manipur' during the prime minister's reply as they urged him to speak on the ethnic violence in the northeastern state.
Members of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) also walked out of the House subsequently.
Gogoi said there were two objectives for the motion of no-confidence - to save parliamentary democracy and make the prime minister stop only making speeches in foreign parliaments and come to the Parliament of India and deliver his speech here. The second objective was justice for the people of Manipur, he noted.
"What we saw that after days of struggle, the INDIA alliance succeeded in forcing the prime minister to come to the Lok Sabha and make his statement. Unfortunately, the prime minister does not feel compelled to go to Rajya Sabha.
"But, the second objective remained unfulfilled - justice for people of Manipur. I saw injustice for people of Manipur as the two MPs of Manipur were not allowed to speak on Manipur. It is these two MPs from Manipur who represent the people of Manipur and their hands and mouth have been taped shut," the Congress leader alleged.
"That is what the BJP is doing to do, to cover up for their failures in Manipur," he alleged.
Gogoi said his three questions still remained unanswered - "Why hasn't the prime minister made any plans to go to Manipur? Why hasn't the prime minister made any concrete statement on Manipur? Why hasn't he asked his chief minister to resign. It is only arrogance which makes them blind to the pain of Manipur people."
Published: 11 Aug 2023, 9:03 AM