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Parliament Monsoon Session: Amit Shah Says 'Centre Ready To Discuss Manipur' Amid Opposition Protest, Houses Adjourned - 10 Points

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that the Centre is ready to debate the Manipur issue in the Parliament but the opposition leaders are not considering it as they demand a statement from the Prime Minister of the country.

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Union Minister Amit Shah in the monsoon session in Parliament.
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The opposition parties pushed the Centre for a discussion on the Manipur issue at the Parliament on the third day of the monsoon session. Union Home Minister Amit Shah responded to the demands of the opposition saying that the government is ready for a discussion on the matter.

The opposition leaders asked for a statement from the Prime Minister of India regarding the ongoing strife in Manipur. Union Home Minister had replied earlier too saying that the Centre was ready to debate in both houses but an opposition leader reportedly said that they are not considering Shah's reply and want the Prime Minister to make a statement. 

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The opposition alliance INDIA partners met at Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge's office at 10 am on Monday to strategise for the monsoon session.

Here are the top 10 developments during the 3rd day of the monsoon session in the Parliament-

1. Protest held by the opposition - The leaders of the opposition alliance held a protest in Parliament demanding a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Manipur issue for both houses.

2. Amit Shah on the opposition demands - Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that the government is ready to discuss the Manipur issue which has been requested by the opposition leaders, he reportedly said, "I am ready for discussion on Manipur in the House. I request the Opposition to let a discussion take place on this issue. It is important that the country gets to know the truth on this sensitive matter."

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3. Statements from Congress leaders - Mallikarjun Kharge told the media, "Our demand is that PM should make a statement in the House. We are ready to discuss that statement." Congress MP Shashi Tharoor reportedly said, "The PM is accountable to the Parliament... There is no parliamentary democracy in the world in which the Parliament doesn't have the chance to meet, question & hear from the PM. This is a bizarre position they have taken." 

According to the reports, Congress legislator Manish Tewari gives an adjournment motion notice to discuss the "ethnic clashes taking place in Manipur."

Reportedly another Congress MP, Manickam Tagore has given Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha, demanding to discuss the Manipur situation.

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter as he asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a statement on the Manipur issue. He wrote on his social media handle, "The 3rd day of Monsoon session of Parliament begins today. INDIA's demand is straightforward. PM should make a comptehensive statement on the horrific post-May 3 developments in Manipur, after which a discussion would take place to express our collective sense of pain, anguish and desire for reconciliation."

4. Statements from other opposition leaders -"PM should give a suo motu statement (on Manipur issue) in both Houses of the Parliament. Then there will be a debate with sensitivity and sympathy," said Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha to PTI.

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Shiv Sena (Uddhav Bala Thackeray) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi reportedly said, "We also want the House to function and we want the PM to answer (on the Manipur situation). We don't want any ruckus to be created in the Parliament." Another leader of the party Sanjay Raut said, "The entire world is watching what happened in Manipur. Debates are being held in European Parliament and US (Congress), but the issue is not being discussed in our own Parliament."

Reportedly Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O'Brien told the media, "At 10.30am, about 300 INDIA MPs will stage a dharna (sit in) at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue (in the Parliament complex) over the Manipur issue. Thereafter, from 11am, we will demand the Prime Minister’s statement on Manipur." He added, "Our demand is that the PM must open the discussion on Manipur in Parliament. The INDIA parties will work in unison on the floor of Parliament and in the precincts of Parliament."

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5. Statements from BJP leaders - Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel told PTI, "The opposition should not make excuses. The PM has already made a statement on Manipur with sensitivity and firmness ahead of the (Monsoon) Session. It is wrong that we don't start the discussion (on Manipur issue in Parliament) at all by making an excuse in the name of PM." BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told the media, "You (the opposition) don't want to hold a debate or discussion (on Manipur issue). You continue to work on the same old method of hit and run. Discussion cannot be held on crime in just one state."

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5. AAP MP Sanjay Singh suspended - Rajya Sabha met at 12 noon when the opposition members were on their feet raising slogans and demanding that the prime minister make a statement in the House on Manipur. The chairman announced that the Question Hour will be taken up. According to the reports, the Question Hour continued for a few minutes amid the din, when Singh moved into the well and pointed out at the chairman. 

Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar suspended Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh for the remaining duration of the Monsoon session during the Opposition's protest in the House over the Manipur issue. Leader of the House Piyush Goyal reportedly moved the motion to suspend him, which was adopted by the House by voice vote. Before the motion was moved, Dhankhar named Singh for his "unruly behaviour" and cautioned him.

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7. Rajya Sabha adjourned at 3 pm - Various opposition members protested this and wanted to raise points of order which was disallowed by the deputy chairman. With the opposition members shouting slogans, he adjourned the House for an hour till 3 pm.

8. Lok Sabha proceedings - Earlier in the day, as soon as the House met at 11 am, opposition members from Congress, DMK, Left parties and others were on their feet. Speaker Om Birla allowed Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to speak. Chowdhury reportedly said Modi should make a suo motu statement on the floor of the House on the violence in Manipur.

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Birla said the House is ready for a discussion on the Manipur violence and the debate could be started after 12 noon as the time fixed for the Question Hour from 11 am should not be disturbed as many important issues are raised by the members during this period for a reply from the government. "The whole House is ready for the discussion and the government will reply to the debate too. But you will not decide who will reply to the debate," the speaker reportedly said.

9. Lok Sabha adjourned till 12 noon - As the opposition members stuck to their demand for a statement from the prime minister, the speaker continued with the proceedings. The House functioned for about 30 minutes amid the sloganeering and protest by the opposition. Birla again appealed to the opposition to allow the Question Hour to go on smoothly as he was ready for a discussion on the Manipur violence from 12 noon onwards. The opposition members were holding up placards that read "INDIA wants discussion on Manipur violence", "INDIA for Manipur" etc. As the protests continued, the speaker adjourned the House till 12 noon.

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10. Reconvened Lok Sabha Adjourned till 2 pm - The Lok Sabha reconvened at 2:30 pm after an earlier adjournment, sloganeering from the opposition benches continued and Speaker Om Birla tried to calm them down. Shah said he was unable to understand why the opposition was not allowing a discussion to take place as the government was ready for it. According to the reports, the government transacted some legislative business, with three Bills introduced and one withdrawn amid the din. While the government withdrew the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019, it introduced the National Dental Commission Bill, 2023, the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, 2023 and the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023. Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the chair, urged the opposition members to go back to their seats for a debate but the latter continued with their protests, demanding a statement from the prime minister on Manipur. Agrawal then adjourned the House till 2 pm.

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What has happened in the monsoon session so far?

According to the reports, one bill has been introduced in the first two days. Meanwhile, Lok Sabha functioned 5 per cent of the time and Rajya Sabha functioned 8 per cent of the time and during Zero hour no questions could be raised. 

Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar who is also the vice-president of Jamia Milia Islamia spoke at their centenary convocation and mentioned the opposition disrupting the parliamentary procedures, he reportedly said, "I am pained and anguished to indicate to you that disturbance and disruption have been weaponised as a strategic means to taint the temples of democracy that should be functional 24*7 to secure justice for the people at large."

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He further added, “There can be no alibi for not making Parliament functional every second (and) people of this country are paying a huge price for it. But I’m not on the financial implication of it. I want the larger issue when there is disruption in Parliament on a particular day, there can’t be question hour, question our is a mechanism to generate accountability and transparency in governance. The government is obligated to respond to every question and to the supplements that are raised. This goes to enormous benefit of governance. Everyone is on track. Not having a question hour can never be rationalised."

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(With PTI inputs)

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