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Cong questions PM's brevity on Manipur during no-trust motion speech

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NewsDrum Desk
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi replies on the Motion of No-Confidence in the Lok Sabha in the Monsoon session of Parliament on Thursday, August 10, 2023

Imphal/Guwahati: The Manipur unit of the Congress on Friday questioned why Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke for only three minutes on the strife-torn northeastern state out of the over two-hour long speech he delivered during the no-confidence motion in Parliament.

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Posing three questions before the prime minister on X, formerly known as Twitter, senior spokesperson of the state party unit Ningombam Bupenda Meitei also asked why the PM was silent on the territorial integrity of Manipur during the speech on Thursday.

His third question was when he would visit Manipur.

In his post on X, Meitei said, “Dear Prime Minister @narendramodi, 1. Why did you speak for hardly 3 minutes out of 2 hrs & 12 minutes of your yesterday's speech in Lok Sabha on Manipur? 2. Why did you choose to be silent on territorial integrity of Manipur in Lok Sabha? 3. When are you coming to Manipur?”

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Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi on Thursday said the prime minister spoke for two hours during which he criticised the grand old party for most of the time instead of speaking on Manipur and sharing the pain of the people there.

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Opposition bloc INDIA said it has moved the no-trust motion to end the prime minister’s “silence” on the Manipur ethnic strife.

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.

Meanwhile in Guwahati, the Assam unit of the Trinamool Congress alleged that the prime minister and the BJP want only votes from the northeast but never bother to visit the region during times of crisis.

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“He (Modi) said that he has come to NE 96 times in nine years, but what use it is, if he doesn’t come in times of crisis? He didn’t come during the Assam floods. Manipur is burning for months, he hasn’t come nor has he deputed any minister,” TMC Assam unit president Ripun Bora said.

Bora asserted that Modi has ‘diluted’ the gravity of the situation in Manipur by comparing it with other states during his speech in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

“BJP thought that they have money and can purchase votes. They are not at all serious about finding a permanent solution. They have dishonoured the sentiment of the people of Manipur. We condemn the apathy and irresponsible response of the prime minister,” the former Rajya Sabha member said.

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Ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

The strife has been continuing for the last three months, killing more than 160 people and leaving thousands homeless.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals – Nagas and Kukis – constitute little over 40 per cent and reside in the hill districts.

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