Indian opposition initiates no-confidence motion against government

Indian opposition initiates no-confidence motion against government

Opposition parties alliance demand appearance by prime minister in parliament over deadly ethnic violence, sexual assault in Manipur state

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA (AA) – India's newly formed opposition alliance has launched a no-confidence motion in parliament against the government.

On Wednesday, the Lok Sabha – the lower house of parliament – admitted the motion stating that a schedule for the discussion will be announced soon.

The vote is being seen as a pressure building tactic by the 26-party opposition alliance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the numbers in parliament to survive the vote.

Politics over deadly ethnic clashes in the northeastern state of Manipur has reached fever-pitch in India with the opposition criticizing the government over inaction.

Raghav Chadha, a senior leader of Aam Aadmi Party, one of the members of the opposition coalition, said: "In India's Parliamentary history, critical instruments of debate, dialogue and discussion within Parliament are exercised."

"Regardless of the outcome, they are exercised with the sole objective of a long-duration discussion on an important issue and to compel the prime minister of India to come to Parliament and respond to the issues raised by the people and the Members of the Lok Sabha," he further said, according to a statement shared by his party on Twitter.

Kodikunnil Suresh, a lawmaker from the main opposition Congress party, said the prime minister is ignoring the opposition's long-standing demand of an appearance in parliament.

"The prime minister is not ready to make a statement. The prime minister has to come to the parliament and make the statement. Manipur is burning, " he told local media.

In 2018, the government faced a no-confidence motion in parliament, but it was defeated in the Lok Sabha as the ruling party was in the majority. A no-confidence motion is submitted in the Lok Sabha, if at least 50 lawmakers support it.

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.

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.

Tensions in Manipur exacerbated after video showing two women paraded naked by a mob went viral on social triggering nationwide outrage.

Earlier this week, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah said that government is “ready” for a discussion on Manipur in parliament. "It is important that the country gets to know the truth on this sensitive matter," he said.

Talking to reporters last week, Modi had termed the mob assault a shameful incident.

"What happened with the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven," he said.​​​​​​​

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