“We’re ready for a discussion on Manipur if…”: Congress’s KC Venugopal


New Delhi [India]: Adamant on the demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement in Parliament on the Manipur situation, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal on Tuesday sought to know when he will discuss the “serious issue”.

The Congress leader said members of the Opposition alliance — INDIA — were ready for a discussion on the Manipur situation, but only if PM Modi attends the session. Speaking to ANI ahead of the start of the ninth day of the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, Venugopal said, “We are ready for any discussion. We also told as much to the Rajya Sabha chairman. If the Prime Minister comes to the House and makes a statement (on Manipur), we are ready for a discussion. When is he going to discuss this serious issue in Parliament? Why is PM running away from a discussion?”

On whether the government should reach out to the Opposition to end the deadlock in Parliament over Manipur, the Congress leader said, “You have to ask this question to the ruling BJP leadership. When are they going to speak up on these matters? For the past 90 days, Manipur has been burning. Unprecedented incidents (of violence) have happened there.”

Taking a dig at PM Modi over his brief statement on Manipur before the Parliament convened for the Monsoon Session on July 20, the Congress leader said, “Prime Minister spoke merely for thirty seconds on the Manipur situation.”

Earlier, PM Modi condemned the viral video of two women purportedly being stripped and paraded in Manipur, vowing that the “culprits involved in this heinous act would not be spared”.

However, Venugopal pointed out that the Opposition has been demanding a statement from PM Modi in Parliament since the start of the Monsoon Session.

“We are ready for a discussion on Manipur. But is the PM willing to be a part of it? This is the question that needs to be answered,” the Congress leader said.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has agreed to discuss the Manipur violence in Parliament, but the Opposition wasn’t allowing it to happen.

Opposition members have been seeking discussion on Manipur under Rule 267 in the Rajya Sabha since the beginning of the monsoon session of Parliament on July 20.

Meanwhile, the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, sought an appointment from President Droupadi Murmu for a meeting to raise the Manipur issue.

Mallikarjun Kharge will lead a 21-member delegation of floor leaders from I.N.D.I.A to meet the President.

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