Indian lawmakers debate no-confidence motion against Modi-led gov't

Indian lawmakers debate no-confidence motion against Modi-led gov't

Newly formed opposition alliance launches motion against central government over ongoing ethnic clashes in northeastern Manipur state

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA (AA) - The Indian parliament began debating Tuesday a no-confidence motion that opposition parties have brought against the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Last month, the Lok Sabha – the lower house of parliament – admitted the motion, brought in by India's newly formed opposition alliance against the government.

While the Indian ruling party led by Bharatiya Janata Party has the numbers in the parliament to survive the vote, opposition leaders maintain that the debate will force Premier Modi to speak on the ongoing ethnic clashes in the northeastern state of Manipur.

On Tuesday, the main opposition Indian National Congress party’s Member of Parliament Gaurav Gogoi started the debate on behalf of the opposition and said INDIA – an acronym for Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance – has brought the no-confidence motion "for the justice of Manipur."

"Manipur is demanding justice today. If Manipur is burning, then India is burning," he said, adding that through the no-confidence motion, they wanted to break the silence of the prime minister over the Manipur issue in the parliament.

Senior party leader Rahul Gandhi, whose parliament membership was restored on Monday following a Supreme Court order, is also expected to take part in the ongoing debate.

Lawmakers in the lower house will likely vote on the motion on Thursday after the debate.

The violence in Manipur started in May after a court ruling directed the state government to submit recommendations for the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe category, which enraged the state's tribal population. Since then over 100 people have died in the lingering ethnic violence, while thousands have been displaced.

Tensions in Manipur were exacerbated after a video showing two women paraded naked by a mob went viral on social triggering nationwide outrage. The Meitei people, who are mostly Hindus, form the largest ethnic group of Manipur. The two other communities in the state, Nagas, and Kukis, are mostly Christians.

Since the start of the ongoing parliament session last month, it has witnessed regular disruptions as the opposition parties continue to demand a statement from Prime Minister Modi over the Manipur issues.

Modi spoke about the Manipur issue when the video went viral, calling the mob assault a shameful incident.

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