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Govt ready for discussion on Manipur, but oppn ‘running away’: Piyush Goyal

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NEW DELHI, July 20 (PTI): The government was ready for a discussion on the Manipur issue but the opposition disrupted proceedings, making it clear that it has made up its mind to not let Parliament function, Union Minister Piyush Goyal alleged on Thursday.

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day on the first day of the Monsoon session, amid slogan shouting and demands for a discussion on the situation in strife-hit Manipur.

Even outside Parliament, opposition parties, including the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Samajwadi Party, have slammed the BJP government at the Centre over the ethnic violence in Manipur and a May 4 video of two women being paraded naked in the northeastern state.

On disruption of proceedings, Goyal, who is the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, told reporters in Parliament complex, that opposition parties are “running away” from a discussion on Manipur as they feel that incidents of “misbehavior” with women in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan may also come up.

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“The Congress and the rest of the opposition parties disrupted the House proceedings even though the government made it clear that it is ready for discussion. It became clear from the attitude of the opposition that they came, making up their mind, that they will not allow the House to function,” Goyal told reporters.

“Perhaps there is something wrong in their heart. They are worried because there were incidents of violence (during panchayat polls) in Bengal and also there are unfortunate situations in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan,” the BJP leader said.

While the Trinamool Congress is in power in West Bengal, the Congress has its governments in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, both of which go to assembly polls later this year.

“Misbehaviour with women is happening in Congress-ruled states. Perhaps, they are running away from a discussion due to this,” Goyal said.

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When Rajya Sabha was in session, Goyal had said the government has no objections and was ready for a discussion.

When the chairman allowed the notices for a short-duration discussion on Manipur, Congress president and Leader of Opposition in the House Mallikarjun Kharge raised objections and said all the business of the House be suspended first and their notices for a discussion on Manipur under Rule 267 be taken up.

Rule 267 of the Upper House of Parliament pertains to suspension of rules.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi also hit out at the opposition and said, “Many of the opposition’s members had given notice for short-duration discussion under Rule 176.”

“They had thought that we would not agree. We agreed for discussions. Then, they found another excuse to stall proceedings,” he said and added that “this is their attitude”.

Goyal alleged that the Congress and its “friends” also disrupted the business advisory committee meeting. This makes it clear that they want to stall proceedings “from today itself”, he charged.

“We also want to have a discussion on Manipur very sensitively. Everyone’s view will come during the discussion… When discussions will be held, Home Minister (Amit Shah) will tell the House about discussions held on such topics in the past past. Who gave a reply and what was discussed (during past discussions). All these things will be placed before the House if discussion happens,” he said.

“The government is ready for a discussion on Manipur but it is unfortunate that Congress, TMC and rest of the opposition parties are running away from it to perhaps hide themselves. They do not want to hold any discussion,” Goyal added.

Tension mounted in the hills of Manipur after a May 4 video surfaced on Wednesday showing two women from one of the warring communities in Manipur being paraded naked by a mob from the other side. The Manipur Police on Thursday arrested one of the main accused who was seen in the video.

Manipur has been witnessing ethnic clashes since May 3 between the majority Meitei community, concentrated in the Imphal valley, and the tribal Kukis, occupying the hills. Over 160 people have been killed in the violence so far.

Before the start of the Monsoon session of Parliament on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the incident has shamed 140 crore Indians, asserting that law will act with its full might and no guilty will be spared.

He requested all chief ministers to further strengthen law and order mechanism in their respective states, especially to protect women and to take most stringent action.

Modi also mentioned states such as  Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh while calling for boosting law and order, and protecting women. “I want to assure the people of the country that no guilty will be spared. What has happened to these daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven,” he said.

“My heart is full of pain and anger,” Modi told reporters amid his criticism by opposition parties for not speaking on the ethnic violence in the northeastern state.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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