Congress MP Shri Gaurav Gogoi moved the ‘No-Confidence Motion’ in Lok Sabha. The debate on the resolution brought by the opposition parties regarding the Manipur issue started on August 8, 2023, in the Lok Sabha. The ‘No-Confidence Motion’ is a compulsion, this was never about numbers but about seeking justice for Manipur. Opposition Alliance (I.N.D.I.A.) was clear - it wanted PM Modi to make a statement on Manipur in the House but he chose to be silent till now.
SYNOPSIS OF DEBATE
Shri Gaurav Gogoi moving the Motion, said: At the outset, I would like to express my gratitude to you for admitting this ‘No-Confidence Motion’ moved by ‘I.N.D.I.A. Alliance’. I would also like to thank the hon. Members of Parliament from all the parties of ‘I.N.D.I.A. Alliance’ from this platform. It is our compulsion that we had to bring a ‘No-Confidence Motion’ because it was never a matter of numbers. This move was always intended for the justice of Manipur. We, ‘I.N.D.I.A. Alliance’, have brought this ‘No-Confidence Motion’ to demand justice for the youth, daughters, farmers, and students of Manipur.
Let us not think that whatever incidents are taking place in Manipur are happening in some corner of North East. This has far-reaching consequences across India. If Manipur is burning, then, India is burning. Today, we are not talking only about Manipur, we are talking about India too. Our demand was quite clear that the hon. Prime Minister, being the ‘Head’ of the country, should come to the House, put forth his point, and express his condolences and the whole party should support it, so that a message could be sent out to Manipur that the whole House is with Manipur in this hour of grief and we want peace to be restored in Manipur. But regrettably, this did not happen. The hon. Prime Minister did not speak anything either in the Lok Sabha or in the Rajya Sabha. That’s why, such a compulsive situation arose that led us to move the ‘Motion of No-Confidence’ to breach the pledge of silence taken by the hon. Prime Minister.
The first question is - why has he not visited Manipur till date as the ‘Head’ of the country? The second question is - why did the Prime Minister take almost 80 days to speak on Manipur? When he spoke, he spoke only for 30 seconds. After that, till date, there has been neither a word of sympathy nor an appeal for peace from the hon. Prime Minister. If the hon. Prime Minister takes the initiative for peace, it carries with itself so much weightage that cannot be found in the statement of any Minister or any MP. The third question is - why has the Prime Minister not sacked the Chief Minister of Manipur till date? What special blessings are you giving to the Chief Minister of Manipur that he himself has come forward to confess that today there was an intelligence failure because of him? These are the three questions, which should be answered by the hon. Prime Minister. Why is the Prime Minister silent on Manipur, there are probably three answers to these questions. The first answer is that the Prime Minister will have to accept that his double engine government in Manipur has been dysfunctional and has totally failed. That is why, today 150 people have lost their lives in Manipur and about 5000 houses have been set afire. About 60,000 people are living in the camps. Around 6,500 FIRs have been registered. Being the Chief Minister of the State, the way an environment for dialogue, peace and goodwill should have been created, has not been created till date. Rather, in the last two-three years, he has taken such provocative steps that have caused tension in the society today.
We visited there and felt very sad that we have created such a division between two sections of the society that we have never witnessed so much resentment and anger among the hearts of two sections of society. It is a matter of regret that the Government which talks of ‘One India’ has today made ‘TWO MANIPURs’. Against the backdrop of the prevailing situation, if today anyone has to suffer the most, they are no other than women and children. We have been there too. I.N.D.I.A. Delegation, our Parliamentary team has been there to meet the family, from amongst this family, two women were badly treated and tortured. Even the religious places were not spared there. The crowd also barged into religious places and desecrated them. They say that everything is normal, but even today the internet facility has not been restored there. Children are not able to go to school. I am very seriously placing this before you in the House that when a big leader of the drug mafia was caught by the police from the Chief Minister’s Office of Manipur, a call was received from the Chief Minister’s Office to release that drug mafia. The hon. Home Minister makes repeated statements regarding drugs, but he also knows that over the last five-six years, this drug menace has not been mitigated, but is continuously on the rise. The data of NCRB is that there were 1,113 cases in the year 2017 and 3,611 cases in the year 2021. Somewhere or the other, the hon. Prime Minister wants to remain silent so that the image of his State Government does not get tarnished because he is attached to the image.
I would like to say with great respect that the second reason for the silence of the Prime Minister is that the Home Department of the Government and the National Security Advisor to the Government of India have failed today. Today, more than 5 thousand weapons have gone into the hands of people. The crowd barges into about 35 police stations and makes away with the weapons. INSAS Rifles, AK-47s, Light Machine-Gun, Self-Loading Rifle, SMC, Mortars, Grenade, Bullet Proof Jacket and 6 lakh ammunition, 6 lakh bullets are in the possession of people today! Does it not constitute a matter of National Security? These Guns and bullets will be fired on the jawans of our Indian Army. These bullets will be fired at the police of Manipur.
Today, these weapons will not be limited to Manipur only. Rather, these weapons will go to the North-Eastern region and different places of India and will usher in an atmosphere of unrest in the society of India. Such a system has developed in Manipur that today the Manipur police are pointing fingers at the Assam Rifles jawans and vice versa. The Inquiry Committee constituted by the Supreme Court today clearly proves that whatever is being done by the Union Government and the State Governments in this regard is not going down well even with the Supreme Court. This is their ‘Nationalism’ which is playing with the ‘Integrity’ of the country today. You talk about NRC. Till date, NRC has not been implemented in Assam. So far as the Naga Peace Framework is concerned, nothing concrete has been done in the Naga Peace Framework even after the lapse of eight years.
The problems of the North-East will not be solved if you divide on the basis of society, caste, and religion. You have to get everyone on board. For the first time, we come to witness that police officers from two States of North-East - Assam and Mizoram - are firing at each other. Now, I would like to come to the third reason because of which the Prime Minister is silent. The reason for the silence of the hon. Prime Minister is that he does not want to accept his mistake. Since his State Government has made a mistake, he will never accept this mistake in front of the public. He prefers to remain silent and this is not the first time. The hon. Prime Minister was silent when women wrestlers who brought India a gold medal were protesting on the road. The Prime Minister was silent when 750 farmers sacrificed their lives in the farmers’ movement. When we raised a question concerning China as to how far China has entered the border of our country, the hon. Prime Minister remained silent. When atrocities against women were being committed in Manipur, the Prime Minister was seeking votes in Karnataka. What kind of ‘Nationalism’ is this, which allows power to take precedence over the country?
We don’t want power; we want peace in the North-East. We are ready to make any sacrifice for the integrity of the North-East and the country. Why does the hon. Prime Minister not take any peace initiative in Manipur? We will support any such initiative. We have three requests to the hon. Prime Minister. The first request is that he should come to the House and express his views. The second request is that he should visit Manipur taking all parties along with him. Our third request to him is to call various social organisations of Manipur and hold a meeting with them and take an initiative for the restoration of peace. We have completed the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ under the leadership of Rahul ji. We will uphold the ideals of the Constitution. We want the development of farmers, mechanics, factory workers, small businessmen and traders. Inflation is at its peak today, but the Government is engaged in talking about the fastest-growing economy. This Government has betrayed the poor. On the lines of Rajasthan, we will bring down the inflation in the country. We will connect India with tribal students, women, and NGOs. India is a Union of States, we will protect it and we will win the elections.
Shri Manish Tewari: The evaluation of any Government is done on five points. First of all - national security, second - economic development, third - communal harmony, fourth - autonomy of institutions and fifth is - international diplomacy or international relations. This is unfortunate that this Government has miserably failed over the last nine years on all these five points. When our Republic was being structured, then special provisions were made in the Constitution to strongly and unitedly integrate the bordering states with India. Section 370 for Jammu and Kashmir, 371 A for Nagaland, 371 B for Assam, 371 C for Manipur, 371F for Sikkim, 371 G for Mizoram, and 371 H for Arunachal Pradesh were provided. Four years ago, article 370 was nullified and till date the elections have not been conducted in that state. I am stating this point because whenever the Articles of the Constitution are tampered with, then it has very long-lasting repercussions. Therefore, whenever there is any kind of instability in the North-Eastern part, then not only does it impact the country, but also the security of the country. In this regard, I would like to mention about China. In the year 2020, there was infiltration in the borders of India across the Line of Control in the month of April. Since September 2020, the day this House resumed post Covid, no discussion on China took place in this House till date. The question also arises that what is the outcome of those 18 rounds of Military-to-Military talks with China? Whether it is a fact that all the buffer zones formed are inside the border lands of India? What is the outcome of talks going on at the level of External Affairs Ministry? These are all serious questions which the Government would have to answer. On one hand, our brave soldiers are fighting China, on the other hand, our trade with China is increasing. In the year 2022, our trade deficit with China was 101.2 billion US dollars. Our imports from China were 97.5 billion dollars, in year 2022, it has increased to 118.5 billion dollars. Our exports have decreased from 28 billion dollars to 17 billion dollars. Is it not that we are extending finance to China through trade deficit enabling it to invade us?
Shri Rahul Gandhi: Last year, I moved through the nooks and corners of the country for 130 days covering the vast Indian Territory. I didn’t move alone but was accompanied by a lot of people. During the journey and even after the journey, many people asked me what my objective was and why I was embarking on a ‘Padyatra’ from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. When they asked me, initially I was not able to give any reply, maybe I did not know why I had started this ‘Padyatra’. I have the feeling that I wanted to see India and understand it by meeting the people. Thousands of people came to meet me during the yatra. I couldn’t hear the crowd. I could only hear the voice of the person who was talking to me. His pain, his agony and his sorrow became my sorrow, and my pain. People say India is a ‘Country’. The truth remains that this country is the voice of its people and voice of the pain, sorrow and difficulties faced by the people of this country. If we have to listen to this voice, we will have to eliminate the ego harboured in our hearts, our desires and our dreams. If we want to hear that voice, we have to uproot arrogance and hatred. A few days ago, I went to Manipur. Today’s reality is that Manipur is not the same. Manipur has been divided into two parts. You have divided Manipur. You have disintegrated it. I went to relief camps in Manipur. In those camps, I spoke to women and to children, which our Prime Minister has not done till date. One woman said she had only one child. He was shot dead in front of her eyes. She kept lying with his corpse all night. Then she left her house out of fear. At another camp, when I asked another victim about her ordeal, within a second, she started shivering and fainted. This Government has not only killed Manipur but has also killed India in Manipur. Their politics has not only killed Manipur but also killed Hindustan in Manipur. India is the voice of our people, the voice of their hearts but this Government has killed that voice in Manipur. The Indian Army is capable of restoring peace in Manipur in a single day, but this Government is not deploying the Indian Army there because this Government wants to kill India in Manipur.
You are a traitor. You are not a patriot. You killed the Country in Manipur. The question arises - You are not the protector of Mother India. You are the murderer of Mother India. I am talking about killing my ‘Mother’ in ‘India’... I am talking about killing my ‘Mother’ in ‘Manipur’. I am speaking with due respect - you have killed my ‘Mother’ in Manipur. One of my mothers is sitting here, the other you have killed in Manipur. You are killing my mother until you stop the everyday violence taking place there.
‘Rama’ did not kill ‘Ravana’, but ‘Ravana’ was killed by his own ego. This Government is igniting fire all over the country. This Government has ignited fire in Manipur as well. Now, this Government is doing the same in Haryana. This Government is hell bent on setting the entire country on fire.
Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary: I rise to support the ‘No-Confidence Motion’. The ‘No-Confidence Motion’ does not mean that the Government will be dislodged. We know that we do not have the requisite number of Members. You can see the power of ‘No-Confidence’ as we have compelled our Prime Minister to come to the House. This is the strength of a parliamentary convention. We have been making repeated request that our Prime Minister should come to the House and speak on the issue of Manipur. This was the reason why we got compelled to move a ‘No-Confidence Motion’ employing the tools available in Parliament. When the discussion was going on in the House, a resonating sound was heard in the House which contained certain clarion calls vis-a-vis corruption, Quit India, nepotism, Quit India, etc. Since we observe this day as a Day of the Quit India Movement, one ought to observe it. Oh yes, there must be ‘Quit India’ from ‘Communalism’, ‘Polarization’ and ‘Saffron-ization’. We are obliged to go for ‘Quit India’. When we visited Manipur, we witnessed the condition of Manipur. At that time, it essentially occurred to us that the Prime Minister, being a leader of the country, ought to have given some message to the residents of Manipur at least once. He should have communicated to the people of Manipur through his ‘Mann ki Baat’. This is not an unfair demand. The riots taking place in Manipur are not a trivial issue. The Manipur riots assumed enormous proportions to such an extent that it became an issue of discussion across the country and even the world over. The issue of Manipur cannot be confined to one state or nation. It has become a global issue. Hence the intervention of the Prime Minister is unavoidable. In Manipur, we saw that our mothers and sisters are being attacked and the incidents of sexual assault are taking place. No longer do we find any distinction between Manipur and Hastinapur, by implication, what we actually wish to put across is that the Prime Minister invariably speaks on almost every issue ranging from the ‘Mission to the moon’ to the ‘Cheetahs of Kuno’ but strangely, he is maintaining stunning silence on Manipur issue. This kind of approach does not appeal to us at all. Manipur is represented by two MPs but neither of them was afforded a chance to speak. Honourable Minister of Home Affairs had maintained that all the security forces had been deployed in the buffer zone. Raising the issue of buffer zone, the Government has acknowledged itself that a buffer zone still exists in Manipur.