The Congress’s reminder comes shortly after the leader of TMC in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien asked PM Modi to get inspired by Vajpayee and speak in the House like the latter did in 2002.
The demand of the opposition has been declined by the government, Rajya Sabha chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar and Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, on the ground that a new practice will not be allowed to be started in Parliament.
Obviously responding to them, Congress Rajya Sabha MP and media head Jairam Ramesh, in a tweet, said, “Those questioning the demand of INDIA parties for a statement by the Prime Minister on Manipur in the Rajya Sabha to be followed by a discussion should recall what had happened in May 2002 in the very same House. Here’s the chronology of events:”
According to the Congress leader, on May 6, 2002, the Rajya Sabha had a discussion on a motion moved four days earlier by Congress MP Arjun Singh which said, “This House expresses its deep sense of anguish on the persistence of violence in Gujarat for over six weeks, leading to the loss of a large number of persons, destruction of property worth crores of rupees and urges the Central Government to intervene effectively under Article 355 of the Constitution to protect the lives and properties of the citizens and to provide effective relief and rehabilitation to the victims of violence.”
Ramesh said at 12:04 pm that day, the then leader of the opposition Manmohan Singh spoke on the motion. At 12:26 pm, the then Prime Minister Vajpayee spoke on the motion. At 12:56 pm, the then home minister L K Advani spoke on the motion. At 1:35 pm, Arjun Singh replied to the debate. At 2:25 pm, the motion was unanimously adopted.
Earlier in the day, the Congress general secretary said that the INDIA parties again demanded on Tuesday the PM’s presence in the Rajya Sabha to make a statement on Manipur, to be followed by a discussion. “Leader of the opposition Mallikarjun Kharge ji was not allowed to speak. All INDIA parties walked out at around 12:30,” he said.
Ramesh’s tweet came after O’Brien had demanded PM Modi’s presence in the House and said Vajpayee spoke in July 2000 on the resignation of the then law minister.
Meanwhile, Ramesh informed that the 21 INDIA party MPs who visited Manipur on July 29 and 30 will be meeting with President Droupadi Murmu on August 2 at 11.30 am. “They will be accompanied by the floor leaders of INDIA parties,” he added.