NEW DELHI: In a blistering attack against the BJP over violence in Manipur, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday alleged that its politics had ”murdered Bharat Mata” in the northeastern state and termed members of the ruling party ”traitors”.
Participating in the no-confidence motion debate, Gandhi also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not visiting Manipur and alleged that he does not consider the state to be part of India.
”I went to Manipur a few days ago. Our prime minister has not gone there, he has not gone there till now. He does not consider Manipur part of India. I used the word Manipur, but the reality is there is no Manipur left. You have divided Manipur into two parts, you have broken up Manipur,” Gandhi said.
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— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 9, 2023
Gandhi said he visited Manipur and met women and children at the relief camps, but the prime minister had not done. The prime minister was not in the House when Gandhi spoke.
”I asked a woman, ‘What happened with you?’ She said, ‘My small son, only child, was shot before my eyes. I spent the whole night with the body of my child and then I felt afraid. I left my house’. I asked her if she had brought along something with her and she said only the clothes she wearing and a photo,” Gandhi said, narrating his experiences.
In another camp, he said he asked a woman the same question — ”What happened with you?” As he did so, she started trembling and fainted. ”These are the two examples. In Manipur, they (BJP) have murdered Hindustan. Their politics has not killed Manipur but killed Hindustan in Manipur. Hindustan has been murdered in Manipur….By killing the people of Manipur you have murdered Bharat Mata, you are not desh bhakts (patriots) but deshdrohis (traitors),” the former Congress chief said.
As the treasury benches protested and slammed Gandhi, Union minister Kiren Rijiju said the Congress leader should apologise for his remarks as it is the Congress which is responsible for insurgency and other problems in the northeast.
Continuing his no-holds barred attack against the government in his over 30-minute speech, Gandhi went on to say that it is the Army that can bring peace to Manipur but the government is not deploying it.
”You have murdered the voice of India, which means you have murdered Bharat Mata in Manipur… My mother is sitting here. The other mother, Bharat Mata, you killed in Manipur,” he said, pointing to Sonia Gandhi who was present in the House.
”You have sprinkled kerosene everywhere. You have set fire to Manipur. You are now trying the same thing in Haryana,” he added, referring to recent communal clashes in Gurugram and Nuh.
Gandhi alleged that the prime minister listens to only two people, Amit Shah and Gautam Adani, just as Ravan paid heed to only two. He did not elaborate on the point. The former Congress president also said the Bharat Jodo Yatra is not over and he undertook the cross-country march to understand what was it he loved and for what had he faced abuse for 10 years. The Congress leader also thanked Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for reinstating his membership of the House.
”The last time I spoke, I also caused you (Birla) pain. I focussed on Adani ji with such intensity, your senior leaders felt pain. That pain also affected you, for that I apologise to you,” Gandhi told Birla.
”I only spoke the truth. My BJP friends you need not be afraid because my speech today will not be focussed on us. Rumi said, ‘Jo shabd dil se aate hain woh dil mein jaate hain’. Will not attack you much.” ”I walked from one end of the country to another, from the coast to the snowy mountains of Kashmir. The yatra is still not over … Many people asked me after it started, ‘Rahul why did you walk, what is your aim’.
”I did not know why I wanted to walk but I soon understood the thing that I love and the thing for which I am willing to die and go to Modi ji’s jail, the thing for which I bore abuse for 10 years, I wanted to understand,” he said.
The no-confidence motion has been brought by the Congress on behalf of the opposition grouping INDIA. The debate was initiated on Tuesday by Congress’ Gaurav Gogoi. It will conclude with the prime minister’s reply on Thursday. Many Rajya Sabha members were in the gallery when he spoke.
Source: Press Trust of India