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  Opinion   Edit  10 Aug 2023  AA Edit | Was no-trust on Manipur, or just 2024-eve politics?

AA Edit | Was no-trust on Manipur, or just 2024-eve politics?

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 11, 2023, 12:09 am IST
Updated : Aug 11, 2023, 12:09 am IST

Going by the quality of the debate in the Lok Sabha, one could question the utility of no-confidence motion against BJP govt at this stage

Prime Minister Narendra Modi replies on the Motion of No-Confidence in the Lok Sabha in the Monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (PTI Photo)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi replies on the Motion of No-Confidence in the Lok Sabha in the Monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (PTI Photo)

The Opposition alliance, INDIA, introduced a no-confidence against the Narendra Modi government, predominantly over the sustained clashes in the restive northeastern hill state of Manipur.

All citizens who listened to the speeches of various leaders during the debate, especially Union home minister Amit Shah and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the mood and narrative in the House appeared to indicate that almost everyone was more focused on projecting their political philosophy and party for the next elections rather than clinically analysing the missteps of the authorities in Manipur.

If the BJP appeared to be keen on bringing corruption and dynasty in the spotlight, the intent of the Congress seemed to be on warning voters about alleged arrogance of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government and its alleged favouritism towards certain business families. 

Mr Amit Shah also questioned the character of the Opposition alliance, saying its true face was seen when it indulged in corruption to save its governments. He sought to portray the National Democratic Alliance in contrast as one which preferred to sacrifice its own government instead of indulging in horse-trading and political corruption.

Playing on the new name of the Opposition alliance, the BJP started a new campaign with slogans like “Corruption Quit India, Dynasty Quit India and Appeasement Quit India”. The Union minister sought to highlight inherent contradictions in the Opposition alliance by claiming that the no-confidence motion was brought in only to create confusion.

Prime Minister Modi, too, tried to drive a wedge between the Congress and its partner, Nationalist Congress Party, by recalling outside Parliament how the supreme leader of the regional party was denied a chance to become Prime Minister following Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination.

Though one would have expected a different Rahul Gandhi after the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he followed his similar line of attack on the Modi government which he had deployed when he coined “suit boot ki sarkar” (a government of affluent) nearly nine years back.

Mr Gandhi tried to paint the BJP as an anti-national party by alleging that the “Prime Minister cannot go to Manipur because he has murdered Hindustan there… You are not the protectors of Bharat Mata, but the killers.”

Likening Mr Modi to Lanka’s Ravan in arrogance, Mr Gandhi alleged that the Prime Minister listens to only two people — Amit Shah and Gautam Adani — just as Ravan paid heed to only two people’s advice — Meghnad and Kumbhakaran.  

Another sidelight of the no-confidence motion was Rahul Gandhi’s alleged flying kiss directed at the Treasury benches, which triggered allegations of indecent conduct in the Lok Sabha. During the no-confidence motion in 2018, he went up to Mr Modi’s seat and hugged him, stealing headlines for Mr Modi. He appeared to have planned a similar kamikaze strike on the BJP, but the flying kiss did not go well with the conservative Indian society and could give an issue to the ruling party. The Congress party has denied it, saying it was a lie spread by the BJP members.

Going by the quality of the debate in the Lok Sabha, one could question the utility of the no-confidence motion against the BJP government at this stage, and if the purpose was Manipur, then it was a lost opportunity.

If it was merely to force Mr Modi to speak, given the kind of orator Mr Modi is, the Opposition alliance would have done better than to serve India’s best public speaker with the chance to open his mouth on a platter. After all, what could be a better stage for him to set off his campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha election than the House of the People?

Tags: rahul gandhi, no confidence motion, prime minister narendra modi