Business Standard

Manipur in focus: Deadlock in Parliament, minister's house attacked again

Shah says govt ready for discussion, Oppn insists PM make a statement

Amit Shah

Archis Mohan

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On Monday, protests over the Manipur issue disrupted Parliament proceedings for the third consecutive sitting of its ongoing monsoon session. Union Home Minister Amit Shah said he was prepared for a debate and wondered why the Opposition was running away. The Opposition insisted the Prime Minister (PM) make a statement inside Parliament on the ethnic unrest 
in Manipur.
Meanwhile in Imphal, protesters started throwing stones at Union Minister of State for External Affairs R K Ranjan Singh’s residence, demanding that he speak in Parliament about the state’s law and order situation, according to media reports. In June, a mob had set the Union minister’s house on fire. In the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar suspended Aam Aadmi Party Member of Parliament Sanjay Singh for the remainder of the session for repeatedly “violating” the Chair’s directives.
The suspension came after Leader of the House Piyush Goyal moved a motion which the House adopted by a voice vote. Before that, Dhankhar named Singh for his “unruly behaviour” and cautioned him.
Dhankhar later said harsh decisions must be made at times to enforce discipline and decorum in the House. Opposition parties condemned the action against Singh and accused the government of trying to throttle their voice.
In Lok Sabha (LS), the Centre succeeded in transacting some legislative business. It introduced three Bills and withdrew one. The government withdrew the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019. It introduced the National Dental Commission Bill, 2023, the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, 2023, and the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
In a brief statement in the LS during the post-lunch session, Shah appealed to the Opposition to allow a discussion and facts on the situation be placed before the country. LS Speaker Om Birla urged the Opposition members to allow a discussion.
“The minister of the department concerned takes part in the debate. To ask for new traditions to be set and not allow the House to function in a planned manner is not in the national interest,” the Speaker said. While the Opposition parties have insisted the PM make a statement in Parliament before it takes up a discussion on the ethnic violence in Manipur, the government has maintained the home minister will speak and not the PM. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Opposition MPs staged protests near the Mahatma Gandhi statue. BJP members raised the issue of attacks on women, including the victims being disrobed and raped, in states like West Bengal and Rajasthan to get back at Opposition parties.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge accused Narendra Modi of insulting Parliament by choosing to speak on the Manipur issue outside the House. 
The PM had made a statement on Thursday morning before the start of the session.

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First Published: Jul 24 2023 | 11:01 PM IST

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