As expected Prime Minister Narendra Modi went ballistic. He deftly used the Lok Sabha to floor the Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A) bloc of the Opposition parties during his first 90 of 130 minutes’ response on its no-confidence motion. And, he effectively utilised the Parliament as the launching pad of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) 2024 election campaign. He demolished every allegation of the Opposition on Manipur. And, no sooner than he began his speech on the Manipur violence, the entire I.N.D.I.A bloc ran away. Were they scared of Modi unmasking their tall claims? Now the I.N.D.I.A and its Lutyens media supporters allege Modi only confined to blowing trumpets of his government’s achievements, instead of Manipur mayhem. That forced one to leave after listening to him for over 90 minutes. But the Opposition’s one line no-confidence motion has no mention of Manipur. Then how can they expect the PM only to confine to the Manipur issue? Whom this I.N.D.I.A bloc wants to fool? Does it think the people as well as live viewers of the Lok Sabha proceeds cannot see through its game? The Opposition did confess the reason behind moving the no-confidence motion, knowing well that it lacked numbers on its side, was to force the PM’s response on Manipur in the Parliament. And PM, on his part, made it a point to present while the Opposition’s floor leader belonging to the Congress, (although the Congress doesn’t deserve the Opposition status it was the ruling dispensation’s magnanimity to accord it as the party has only 52 seats, falling short of the requisite number) Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, as usual, disappointed the House like his leader Rahul Gandhi, by inviting suspension for unwarranted remarks against Modi. The Prime Minister utilised the opportunity in the House to speak for his government’s good, and went all out to explain his government’s accomplishments during its nine-year rule. In other words, Modi devoted 90 minutes in the 130-minute-long speech to outline his government’s achievements on how the country progressed to emerge as the world’s fifth-largest economy. He also used the speech to launch his party-led NDA’s election campaign by seeking the mandate for another term, if the electorate wanted to see their nation as the world’s third economic power. That was the guarantee, he said, he wish to offer the 140 crore people from the floor of the ‘temple of democracy’.
All this did not go down well with the Congress-led 26-party I.N.D.I.A bloc, and hence they chose to walk out, no sooner than Modi started to speak on the Manipur violence. During his first 90 minutes, the Prime Minister, explained to the nation, how his party-led NDA has disproved doubting Thomases in the Opposition, especially the Congress, whose so-called economist and former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, professed doomsday as far as Indian economy was concerned. Modi hit the nail on Congress’s head saying that it was his government that brought a turnaround by bringing India from 10th position to 5th position in just nine-year tenure. Similarly, on several other good pro-poor initiatives, including ‘Swachch Bharat and Shresht Bharat’, the Opposition ridiculed them, but his government proved otherwise. Even in the case of ensuring providing toilets to crores of BPL families, besides shelters, tap water to every household, or LPG gas cylinders or opening of 40 crore Jan dhan accounts to ensure the beneficiaries reach their government welfare schemes money directly transferred into their accounts. He also boasted how the poverty alleviation program became a great success during the last nine years as its number drastically dropped to single digits from 40-45 per cent before 2014.
As Indian masses believe in the popular slogan coined by his supporters that Modi-hai-tho mumkin hai, their leader did not leave any stone unturned to list out his government’s achievements, armed with solid statistical data from various agencies, to floor the entire Opposition. He did not mince words, in terming the new block as the Ghamandia Alliance as the majority of those who come together burying their ideological difference only with single agenda of how to save themselves from going to prison for their misdeeds (read large-scale graft cases.)
He also warned the Indian electorate that if they were so desirous to see India back to the square in all fields, then they should vote for the looters club called I.N.D.I.A. As far as the ethnic clashes and the reported ‘gang rape’ of two women video was concerned, the Prime Minister did not hesitate to confess it was ‘reprehensible’ and forced every Indian to hang his or her face in shame. “There is no dispute on that count. I with all humility accept the criticism of the Opposition and their genuine concern. But shouldn’t they be responsible for joining hands with the government’s efforts to bring back normalcy in the state, which was known for such ethnic clashes from time immemorial,” he wondered. He went on unravel the history of Manipur history and how the past governments in the state too failed but managed to control as time passed. Unlike in the past, his party government in the state was quick to act from the very second the violence broke out by quickly forming the Uniformed Command unit to coordinate with the local and Central forces deployed to bring back normalcy in the state, besides replacing the state Chief Secretary and DGP. The Centre also responsibly responded to the problem to fix by even sending a senior bureaucrat to assist the Manipur government. Interestingly, he also pointed out the state HC verdict too on staying the government’s reservation order to one community.
That apart, the reason behind the Opposition’s concern is understandable, as the Prime Minister, who is known for sparing none when it comes to defending his good initiatives in the best interests of the nation, also cited how the Congress during its six-decade-long rule at the Centre neglected the north-eastern states.
He also took the opportunity to remind how the country’s first prime minister used the Indian Airforce to bombard Mizoram when violence broke out and later left the people of Assam high and dry to fend themselves during the 1962 conflict with China. Similarly, his successor and daughter Indira Gandhi too ill-treated the NE states. He claimed it was his government during the last nine years that brought in a significant change to ensure every member of NE states feels that they are proud of being part of the Indian nation, which was hitherto missing till 2014. He boasted of how the road, rail, and air links were established in a record time in different terrains connecting all the states for better logistic support. While concluding his speech, the Prime Minister made it clear that India and Parliament stand by Manipur at this hour of crisis and assured the people of the rest of the country that normalcy will be restored with peace and tranquility in the state, sooner than later. He also appealed to the people of Manipur for cooperation. Meanwhile, as many as 40 MLAs of the Meitei community of Manipur have submitted a Memorandum to the Centre pleading to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to weed out those who might have migrated from across the border. Contrary to this the entire Opposition may argue that PM’s speech lacked substance and hence proved boring. But, it is ultimately, the electorate, who heard or watched the Lok Sabha proceedings for the last three days to decide, whom they wish to believe. One has to wait and see how the Indian electorate responds to the call given by the PM – that’s quit India Brashatachar (looters), Quit Parivarvadis (dynasts), and Quit Sushitikarnis – only the 2024 poll outcome will reveal. But someone has already said it, the result of 2024 is a clear writing on the wall and the Opposition may be better prepared for the 2029 battle!