At a press conference at the party headquarters, Deputy Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Gaurav Gogoi, said that Union Ministers and BJP leaders were shielding “the Prime Minister from tough questions [of the Opposition] just like bouncers do it for celebrities”.
Responding to Home Minister Amit Shah’s assertion in the Lok Sabha that he was ready for a discussion, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said it was a “desperate bid to manage headlines” and claimed that “Home Minister is not doing anybody any special favour”.
The party said Mr. Shah was “totally silent” on Opposition alliance INDIA’s demand for a statement by PM Modi on the issue.
Mr. Shah had said he was willing to hold discussion in the Lok Sabha on the situation in Manipur and wondered why the Opposition was not ready for it.
Speaking briefly in the Lok Sabha, he requested Opposition leaders to allow debate, saying it was important for truth to come out before the country on the Manipur issue.
“The perfectly democratic and legitimate demand of the parties comprising INDIA is for a statement by the Prime Minister on the Manipur situation FIRST followed by a discussion. HM is totally silent on this. What is the hesitation in getting PM to speak INSIDE Parliament first?” Mr. Ramesh said on Twitter.
Congress general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal tweeted, “Parliament is dysfunctional because the Prime Minister is scared of directly facing questions. He refuses to enter the House of which he is elected Leader. Manipur is in the middle of a civil war, but the PM is hiding behind his subordinates.”
“The entire nation is seething because he has allowed this crisis to spiral out of control, and his silence is beyond shameful at a time of such death and destruction,” he added.
Addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters, the party’s Gujarat chief and Rajya Sabha member, Shaktisinh Gohil, and Mr. Gogoi, insisted that the discussion on Manipur violence should be under rule 267 in the Upper House and rule 184 in the Lower House, both rules that entail voting.
“The role of our Prime Minister is to show personal leadership in a time of crisis, to show a formal political outreach. Here there is no outreach, no leadership. He is outsourcing everything to his Cabinet and BJP Ministers, who are acting as bouncers,” Mr. Gogoi.