New Delhi: In a dramatic turn of events today, members of the I.N.D.I.A alliance within the opposition staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha as part of their insistence on two key demands: a discussion on the Manipur conflict under Rule 267 and a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Chairman of the House, Jagdeep Dhankhar, addressed the assembly shortly after it convened for the day. Dhankhar asserted that the deliberations on the Manipur violence under Rule 176 would not be constrained by a specific time limit.
Dhankhar emphasised, “There is no time limit for discussion on the Manipur situation under Rule 176,” underscoring that the participating parties would have ample opportunity to express their viewpoints. He acknowledged the submission of 60 notices for discussion on the Manipur violence under Rule 267, but he had already communicated his decision on the matter.
Regarding the opposition’s request for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence in the House during the Manipur debate, Dhankhar clarified that he lacked the authority to issue such a directive. He stated firmly, “A directive from the chair cannot be issued. I can’t give that directive. I shall not.”
Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge conveyed his intention to discuss the matter under Rule 267, a sentiment that was echoed by other opposition MPs. Dhankhar acknowledged Kharge’s request but noted that the opportunity was not fully utilised.
In response to the government’s stance on their demands, the Congress party and other opposition groups chose to stage a walkout. These demands had been persistently raised by the opposition since the commencement of the monsoon session of Parliament on July 20.