21-Member Oppo Delegation To Land In Imphal For 2-day Manipur Visit
A 21-member delegation from the grand Opposition alliance, I.N.D.I.A, is set to touch down at Imphal airport on Saturday for a two-visit to violence-hit Manipur.
The visit follows from a chorus from the Opposition members for a debate on the Manipur situation and a statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which has resulted in repeated disruptions and adjournments in both Houses of Parliament.
The Northeast state has been racked by ehtnic violence, which broke out over a Manipur High Court order asking the state government to consider adding the Meitei community to the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs).
Amid the persistent violence, a video from May 4, when the clashes broke out, surfaced recently purportedly showing two women being paraded naked.
The viral video triggered a fierce war of words between the BJP-led Centre and the Opposition, both within the four walls of the Parliament and outside, over the prevailing state of affairs in the Northeast state.
Demanding that all scheduled businesses in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha be set aside for a discussion on Manipur, members of Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A) raised a ruckus, disrupting and stalling proceedings in both Houses.
The visit by the I.N.D.I.A delegation comes even as Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla accepted a motion of no cofidence moved by the Opposition against the Centre over the Manipur situation.
The motion was tabled in the Lower House by Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi, who is part of the delegation visiting Manipur on Saturday.
Defending the motion against the Centre, Opposition leaders said it was aimed at eliciting a response from PM Modi over the Manipur situation in Parliament.
The 21-member Opposition delegation, from both Houses, includes Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Gaurav Gogoi, K Suresh and Phulo Devi Netam of the Congress; Rajiv Ranjan Lalan Singh of the JDU; Sushmita Dev from Trinamool Congress; Kanimozhi from DMK; Sandosh Kumar of the CPI; AA Rahim from CPI(M), Manoj Kumar Jha of RJD; Javed Ali Khan of SP; Mahua Maji of JMM; PP Mohammed Faizal of NCP; Aneel Prasad Hegde of JDU, ET Mohammed Basheer of IUML; NK Premachandran of RSP; Sushil Gupta of AAP; Arvind Sawant of Shiv Sena (UBT); D Ravikumar of VCK; Thiru Thol Thirumavalavan also of VCK; and Jayant Singh of the RLD.
As per the schedule, the delegation, split into two teams, will reach the Imphal airport at 12 pm on Saturday and will leave for Churachandpur, the epicentre of the ethnic violence in the state. The delegation will likely hold a press conference at 8.30 pm later in the day.
The Opppsition members have been adamant on the demand for a discussion on Manipur and a statement from PM Modi on the prevailing state of affairs in the state since the start of the Monsoon Session of Parliament on July 20.
While the Treasury said it was ready for a discussion on Manipur, the Opposition insisted on a debate under adjournment motion.
Amid the disruptions in the Rajya Sabha over the Manipur issue, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday held a meeting with leaders of all Opposition parties to discuss the proceedings of the Upper House next week.
The BJP’s Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha and Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said the Opposition should proper functioning of the House by way of dialogue, debate and discussion.
Earlier, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited Manipur during which he announced several steps to restore peace.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had visited the state in June. (ANI)