On July 31, the West Bengal Legislative Assembly passed a “motion” denouncing the violence in Manipur and pleading with the Indian government to act to restore calm in the northeastern State.
The resolution, which was presented by members of the Trinamool Congress, including Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, was rejected by the BJP MLAs who took part in the debate. BJP lawmakers shouted protests and attempted to stifle Mamata Banerjee’s remarks.
In her speech, Ms. Banerjee frequently referred to the Indian National Developmental Alliance, Inclusive Alliance, or INDIA and asserted that the coalition would form the next administration at the federal level and bring peace to Manipur.
“The Prime Minister is unable to restore peace in Manipur, then let us (INDIA) be allowed to restore peace.” the Chief Minister said. Ms. Banerjee criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not visiting Manipur or making statements on the situation in the north eastern State.
We demand a statement from the Prime Minister on the situation in Manipur, which Ms. Banerjee called “shameful” and specifically mentioned the sexual assaults against women. The chief minister of West Bengal stated that her state’s experience in managing the violence in Darjeeling and the Jangalmahal region qualified her administration to offer advice on how to handle the Manipur crisis.
During an hour-long debate, loud noises could be heard throughout the House. Suvendu Adhikari, the leader of the opposition, and the BJP’s Agnimitra Paul, Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury, and Shakar Ghosh took part in the discussion and attempted to bring up the topic of violence in West Bengal, notably in the just-completed panchayat elections. Mr. Adhikari alleged the discussion on Manipur was illegal since the Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognizance of the issue. The BJP leader also said that he will approach the Court over the issue.
The motion was submitted in accordance with Rule 210 of the West Bengal Assembly’s norms of procedure for conducting business, according to Speaker Biman Banerjee. Mr. Banerjee questioned why the BJP lawmakers took part in the debate if they thought the motion was unlawful. A voice vote was used to approve the motion.
The West Bengal Assembly has already addressed resolutions on a topic involving more important national politics. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the 2019 demonetisation, and the agricultural legislation passed by the Centre that were later repealed in November 2021 were all discussed in the State Assembly. In the State Assembly, which has a strength of 294, the Trinamool Congress still holds a strong majority of more than 216 MLAs. The amount of BJP legislators in the house stands at 70.