Throughout his speech, the PM attacked the Congress and about Manipur only briefly, Gogoi said. Midway through the PM’s reply, Opposition MPs walked out of Lok Sabha alleging that there was no reference to Manipur in the first 90 minutes of his speech.
The Prime Minister’s speech faced criticism from the Opposition, highlighting the absence of any substantial mention of Manipur for the initial 90 minutes. Gogoi noted that while the PM extensively targeted the Congress, he only briefly touched upon Manipur. The response triggered a walkout by Opposition MPs from the Lok Sabha, asserting that the Manipur issue was disregarded in the speech’s early stages.
In the aftermath of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s forceful denouncement of the Congress and the Opposition’s INDIA alliance during his reply to the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, the Congress accused him of transforming the Parliament into a platform for electoral campaigning. The party remarked that the Prime Minister seemed to be afflicted by “Congress-phobia.”
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for eventually addressing Manipur in the House. Kharge remarked that had the PM been more receptive earlier, abandoning his “stubbornness and arrogance,” Parliament’s valuable time could have been preserved, and crucial bills could have been passed following a constructive discussion.
Kharge lamented, “It saddens us that a significant matter like the Manipur violence forced the Opposition to resort to a parliamentary maneuver like a no-confidence motion. Yet, you also employed the sanctity of the House for an election-style rally.” Gaurav Gogoi, Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, echoed these sentiments, claiming that the Prime Minister was plagued by “Congress-phobia.”
Throughout his address, the PM relentlessly criticized the Congress, only briefly touching on Manipur, according to Gogoi. In the middle of the PM’s response, Opposition MPs staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha, alleging that Manipur had been neglected during the initial 90 minutes of the speech.
Gogoi asserted that the BJP was concealing its shortcomings in Manipur and expressed optimism that the INDIA alliance parties would overcome the BJP in the 2024 elections.
“… Over the course of these two hours, his focus seemed to center on distorting the very name of our nation — India. Evidently, there exists a noticeable aversion to the Congress, given that a significant portion of the Prime Minister’s speech was dedicated to casting blame upon them. Undoubtedly, the sight of INDIA alliance parties uniting and enthusiastically chanting ‘INDIA, INDIA’ seems to have unsettled the Prime Minister,” Gogoi shared with the press following their departure.
“No matter the content of his speech, we maintain our confidence that our parties remain united under a shared vision to safeguard and uphold the principles of our Constitution, to conserve the values of our civilization, and to ensure the integrity, brotherhood, freedom, and equality, along with the rights and ideals enshrined within our Constitution. We hold a strong belief that the INDIA alliance will emerge victorious in the year 2024,” he affirmed.
Subsequent to the walkout, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor commented, “Our request to the Prime Minister was to address the nation regarding Manipur. However, after an hour and 45 minutes, the word ‘Manipur’ had not crossed his lips. His speech was distinctly politically oriented, replete with well-worn attacks on the Congress party and the Opposition, but it provided no responses to the queries raised by the no-confidence motion.”
“It undeniably took on a political nature. What new information did it bring forth? What did he communicate to the nation that we were previously unaware of? The weightiness that we typically associate with the office of the Prime Minister was absent, and there was a noticeable dearth of any substantial reference to the no-confidence motion,” he articulated.
DMK MP TR Baalu remarked that the Opposition had anticipated the Prime Minister’s insight into the situation in Manipur and other regions of the country afflicted by instances of violence. “What transpired was a political discourse,” Baalu added. “The intention underlying the no-confidence motion was… to elicit his reaction to Manipur and Haryana, as well as other locales grappling with unrest. Although we interjected on multiple occasions, he refrained from responding,” Baalu concluded.