Indian PM Modi defeats no-confidence vote and promises 'peace' in Manipur

No-confidence motion against Narendra Modi made by opposition parties over his failure to solve growing crisis in the north-eastern state

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses India's lower house Lok Sabha in New Delhi on August 10. AFP
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday defeated the no-confidence motion with a majority voice vote and assured the nation his government would find a solution to the ongoing Manipur crisis and “peace” would return to the state that has been rocked by ethnic violence for 100 days.

Mr Modi was speaking on the third day of the no-confidence motion in parliament against his Bharatiya Janata Party's government over its inability to control the deadly violence in the north-eastern state, which has led to the deaths of at least 180 and left more than 60,000 homeless.

“People are facing problems, many people have lost their family members, grave crimes have been committed against women,” Mr Modi said in the closing a more than two-hour long speech.

“I want to assure you that the guilty would not be spared. The centre and state government is making all efforts.

“I want to tell the women, daughters, sisters of Manipur that the nation stands with you. We will together find a solution to this crisis and peace will prevail again.

“I assure you that in Manipur, all efforts will be made to expedite the pace of development of Manipur.”

A no-confidence motion was moved by the newly formed alliance of opposition parties called INDIA last week that accused Mr Modi of remaining silent over the violence that continues unabated, despite tens of thousands of security forces being deployed in the region.

Manipur, bordering Myanmar, is ruled by Mr Modi's BJP.

Mr Modi started his speech by speaking on his government’s achievements in the past nine years, while opposition leaders shouted “Manipur, Manipur”.

“This [motion] is a blessing from God, who suggested the opposition to come up with this proposal [for a no-confidence motion] … A no-confidence motion is not a floor-test of our government but the opposition's,” he said.

But as he continued to speak about his party and how it has created a corruption-free government, the opposition leaders walked out. It was then that he started speaking on the Manipur crisis.

“PM Modi spoke today for over 133 mins in [before the governing body] Lok Sabha,” said Saket Gokhale, a parliamentarian from the opposition Trinamool Congress.

“Of this, he spoke of the ongoing Manipur rapes and violence for only four minutes. INDIA moved a no-confidence motion only to force PM Modi to speak on Manipur and yet, he had no guts to address the rapes and mass killing incited by his party BJP in Manipur.”

It was the first time he spoke on the ethnic violence in the north-eastern state, although he had briefly spoken on the sexual assault of two tribal women by a mob after a video went viral in June, sparking widespread outrage.

The Prime Minister was facing the facing a no-confidence motion for the second time since his party came to power in 2014.

In 2018, a politician from Telugu Desam Party moved for a no-confidence motion over the non-allocation of sufficient funds to the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. It was defeated after a 12-hour debate.

Updated: August 11, 2023, 4:10 PM