NEW DELHI: PM Modi Thursday pledged the country’s support to the people in trouble-torn Manipur, calling the northeast a “piece of our heart”. “India stands with Manipur. This House stands with Manipur,” he said, replying to the debate on the no-trust motion brought against the government.

“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the women of Manipur. The entire House stands with you.

I am also speaking for those who are not present here,” the PM said, as several opposition members had left the House, saying he had not touched upon Manipur in his speech. “We will work together to find a solution. Manipur will soon see the dawn of peace and we will like to assure the people that the state would be back on the path of progress. We will spare no effort to ensure it.”The no-trust motion, brought to “force Modi to break his silence on Manipur”, was defeated by a voice vote taken after Modi’s hard-hitting speech, the longest no-confidence debate speech by any PM. At 2 hours 13 minutes, it was a minute longer than former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri’s as well as home minister Amit Shah’s on Wednesday. The PM dwelt on Manipur for more than half an hour.
Rejecting the charge of failure in Manipur and of refusal to face Parliament, the PM said the government was always ready for a frank conversation on the issue. He said the home minister had written to the Speaker even before the opposition decided to disrupt proceedings, expressing the government’s readiness to have the debate, adding that it was the opposition which did not want facts to come out.

No-confidence motion: Assuring peace in Manipur to criticising Opposition PM Modi's speech highlights

16:07

No-confidence motion: Assuring peace in Manipur to criticising Opposition PM Modi’s speech highlights

“Their pain is selective, their sensitivities are selective. Their concern begins and ends with politics. They cannot think of humanity. They are obsessed with politics and are not concerned with the country and its problems,” said the PM. “The less the partisanship, the brighter is the chance of early restoration of peace.” He also said that an impression had been sought to be manufactured that the current unrest in Manipur was a first of its kind by concealing the history of violence that happened under Congress governments.
“Who was in office when temples were forced to shut down at 4 am and people could worship there only under the Army’s protection? When there was a ban on the singing of national anthem in schools, and when IAS and IPS officers deputed to the state had to cough up a part of their salaries to insurgents to ensure their security? Which government was there when Iskcon temple was bombed in Imphal and several devotees were killed?” asked the PM, reminding that bandhs and blockades were the norm in the state before BJP came to office in 2017.

Just like the Union home minister, Modi appeared to stand by N Biren Singh, chief minister of Manipur, by listing the measures taken by the BJP government in the 6 years the party has been in office. He said the violence was triggered by a peculiar set of circumstances, with the Manipur high court providing the immediate spark: a reference to the HC order guaranteeing Scheduled Tribe status for Meiteis. “The violence that it triggered and the retaliation that followed created the unfortunate chain of events,” he explained while appearing to regret the judicial outreach.
“You all know how the courts have been behaving?” The long reply went far beyond Manipur, with a combative Modi, who pressed on despite relentless slogan-shouting by Congress and Trinamool members, offering details of his performance, mocking the opposition, and confidently asserting that he was headed for a third consecutive term. “We will come back with record numbers in 2024,” said Modi who also added he would complete tasks like turning India into the third-largest economy, in his third term. He dismissed the challenge of the INDIA bloc.

Manipur will see the light of peace once again soon, assures PM Modi

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Manipur will see the light of peace once again soon, assures PM Modi

“I had said in 2018 that you would bring a motion of no-confidence in 2023. You have proven me right. I am again saying that you would bring a similar motion in 2028,” said Modi, adding that the opposition’s moves are turning out to be a happy augury and a boon in disguise for him. He reserved heavy fire for the Congress leadership. Rahul and Sonia bore the brunt, but Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were not spared either. Modi said the no-confidence motion reflected the arrogance of the Nehru-Gandhi family which was yet to come to terms with the fact that the office that they treated as their entitlement was now occupied by a man of humble origins like him.
“They cannot get over this even while sleeping. Now I feature even in their dreams,” he said. Modi also detailed the “successes” of his government that were acknowledged even by independent international institutions like the IMF and the World Health Organization, but “are mocked by the opponents within who get some intellectuals to toe their line”. “They claim that India is worse off than even countries which are facing starvation and the eco-system starts repeating it,” he added.
Modi astutely fused himself with the aspirational youth and said those who ridicule him for his confidence about the country’s progress were both unaware of the energy of this country and the potential of the youth behind the dynamic culture of start-ups and innovations. “They don’t even know how to oppose. So, when I say that India will soon become the third largest economy, they would have been justified to ask me about the basis of my optimism. Tell us what is your roadmap? But they will not do that,” Modi said, adding that the opposition had not prepared itself even for the no-confidence debate.
“Fielding was set by the opposition, but fours and sixes were hit from here. We kept hitting centuries, they kept bowling no-balls,” he said. Rahul came in for the severest attack. “There is one politician who has been launched for the third time. Each time the launch fails but they don’t realise that the problem is with the product, not the launcher,” Modi said. The ‘INDIA’ grouping was sought to be dismissed as a re-badged UPA. “They have put a new coat of paint on the ruins of the old structure,” he added.


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