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‘Rise Above Political Lines’, Says Amit Shah As He Asks Opposition For Cooperation On Manipur

Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced Tuesday in Lok Sabha that he had written letters to leaders of Opposition of both Houses, conveying that the government was ready for a discussion on the Manipur issue. The government was still at a standstill in Parliament for the fourth day in a row, with the Opposition continuing to demand a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Manipur situation.

“I have written letters to leaders of Opposition in both the Houses that I am ready for any long discussion. Government is not scared of anything. Anyone who wants to discuss Manipur must come forward. We have nothing to hide. People are watching you. You have to go into an election. Beware of the fear of the people. Prepare the right environment in the House to discuss a topic as sensitive as Manipur,” Shah said during his reply to a debate on the Multi-state Cooperative Amendment Bill, 2022.

By voice vote, the House approved the Bill.

During his speech, the members of the Opposition invaded the House well, and Shah shot back, “Those who are shouting slogans here have neither any interest in cooperation nor in cooperatives. They have no concern for the wellbeing of women or Dalits.

Later, Shah tweeted his letters to Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, and Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

The letter said, “The Opposition is demanding a statement from the government on Manipur. I want to tell you that not just a statement, the government is ready for a full-fledged discussion. But this will need the cooperation of all parties. Through you I appeal to all Opposition parties that please come forward for a discussion in a good environment.”

It urged the Opposition to rise above party lines to ensure proper functioning of Parliament.

Talking about the violence in Manipur, he said in the letter, “In the past six years, under the rule of a BJP government, this region had begun witnessing an era of peace and progress. However, due to some court orders and some incidents, violence erupted in Manipur in early May. Some shameful incidents too were reported following which people of the entire country, those of the Northeast, and particularly of Manipur, expect from the country’s Parliament that parties will rise above politics and stand with the people of Manipur in this tough time.”

“At this time, the people of Manipur want all members of Parliament to assure them that we are together in our resolve to bring peace to Manipur. We have done this earlier,” the letter said.

Shah took aim at the Congress party in his response to the Bill’s debate.

“I wish to tell the whole country that Narendra Modi has begun a process to rid 7 crore Indians of poverty in these nine years. Congress party gave the slogan ‘Gareebi Hatao’. But they actually removed the poor. Poverty alleviation was done by Narendra Modi. It is in this effort that this Bill has been brought,” Shah said.

Detailing provisions of the Bill, Shah said, “There were always complaints of political interference in cooperatives. There will now be an election commission for cooperatives which will reduce political interference. There is a provision to ensure regular meetings are held of the cooperative board. Every cooperative will have to keep an RBI-approved auditor.”

He said, “Cooperatives always faced allegations of nepotism. We have now decided that not just blood relatives (of top office bearers) but even distant relatives will not be able to get a job in cooperatives. We have also made provision for a committee on sexual harassment.”

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