The political battle over Manipur escalated on Saturday, as the BJP brought up incidents of atrocities against women in West Bengal and Rajasthan to question the opposition’s silence. The opposition has been demanding a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the situation in Manipur, followed by an unhindered debate in Parliament. However, the government accused the opposition of avoiding the debate by imposing conditions and lacking seriousness on the issue.
During a press conference at the BJP headquarters, Union Minister Anurag Thakur highlighted the alarming number of heinous crimes against women in states governed by opposition parties, such as Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Bihar. He accused the opposition leaders, including former Congress presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, of remaining silent on these cases.
Thakur revealed that over one lakh cases of crimes against women have been registered in Rajasthan in the last four years, with 33,000 cases pertaining to sexual assault on women. The ruling party also raised the issue of two tribal women being brutally beaten up and stripped in Malda district, targeting West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Anurag Thakur also criticised the Congress for sacking its minister in Rajasthan after he raised concerns about crimes against women in the state, alleging that it was done on the instructions of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.
The opposition retaliated by accusing the BJP of resorting to whataboutery and avoiding discussions in Parliament. Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh criticised the government’s attempt to create a false equivalence with issues in other states, diverting attention from the tragedy in Manipur.
Congress leaders also engaged in heated exchanges on Twitter with Union Minister Smriti Irani, accusing her of using gender arguments to deflect criticism. Meanwhile, leaders from different parties, including TMC, AAP, and RJD, demanded accountability, with some even suggesting the imposition of the President’s rule in Manipur.
As the political war rages on, former Union Minister Kapil Sibal proposed a way forward for Manipur by suggesting the dismissal of Chief Minister Biren Singh and the imposition of Article 356 to restore social and psychological healing in the state.