No-trust motion: Sansad TV ticker shows govt ‘achievements’ as Gogoi questions Modi over Manipur

As the opposition objected to the Sansad TV ticker, the Lok Sabha speaker said he ‘doesn’t have a button’ to stop it.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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“Prime minister has assumed a maun vrat (pledge to not speak) … We are compelled to bring the no confidence motion… Modi has to accept his double-engine government has failed.”

As Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “maun vrat” on Manipur conflict, opening the debate on the no-trust motion in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the Sansad TV in its live coverage of the parliament proceedings displayed tickers on the Modi government’s “achievements”.

PM Modi is expected to speak on the opposition-sponsored motion on August 10. With the BJP’s overwhelming majority in Lok Sabha, the no-confidence motion is being seen as the opposition’s attempt to compel the PM to speak on the Manipur conflict. Five ministers are also likely to speak on the motion.

By 12.32 pm on Monday, over 20 minutes into Gogoi speech, in which he posed three questions for PM Modi over the perceived inaction on Manipur, the Sansad TV began listing the government schemes or sectors which have seen success.

The ticker read: “India comes second in ayurvedic and herbal medicine exports; second in export of alternative medicine; India now has the second largest road network in the world, after the USA; 400 Vande Bharat trains to be manufactured; PMGKAY becomes largest food security initiative by feeding over 80 crore citizens since March 2020; India is the second largest fish producing country; Jal Jeevan mission is world’s biggest drinking water supply programme.”

These claims scrolled on the ticker until 12:58 pm. They were taken down after the opposition raised an objection, and amid sloganeering, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged that it was a “planned move”. He said: “The government thought Rahul Gandhi would move the motion of no confidence. This is why they scheduled such a ticker. It was only to belittle him. Gaurav Gogoi’s speech was googly for them.”

Minutes before the no confidence motion debate began in the House, the Congress party withdrew its plan of Rahul Gandhi setting off the debate.  

While Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla dismissed the allegations, he took cognisance of the complaint about the ticker displaying the government achievements. “The Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV recently merged to become the Sansad TV... Since you have brought the matter to my notice, I will look into it... I have asked the relevant team… it will be stopped in a few moments,” Birla said amid the opposition’s sloganeering. “I don’t have the button to stop the ticker.”

However, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said the opposition “should not be so insecure” and that such tickers usually run on the Sansad TV during parliamentary proceedings. “Their speech is telecast live. Why are they so scared? The opposition should not have such insecurities.”

Newslaundry had earlier reported on the upheaval in operations of Sansad TV and how vice-president Jagdeep Dhankar presided over meetings concerning the content of the channel, layoffs and appraisals. Read here

Gogoi’s three questions, allegations against BJP

Congress leader Gogoi said their demands are clear, and the no confidence motion was not about numbers, but their demand for justice for Manipur. “We want to break the prime minister’s vow of silence through this no confidence motion.”

He had three questions for Modi, including about why the PM has not visited violence-hit Manipur, why he spoke for just “30 seconds” about Manipur and only after over 80 days, and why Manipur CM Biren Singh has not been dismissed despite accepting that there has been a security intelligence failure in the state because of him.

He alleged that the BJP government’s “instigating policies and moves” have created tensions in the state. He said that the situation in Manipur had been in the making for over three years, and the government that talks about one India has today “created two Manipurs”.  

Divulging the violence and crimes occurring in the state, he said the Manipur CM has underlined the drugs industry’s role for the current situation, but the CM’s office itself reportedly has links with the drugs industry. He accused the CM’s office of safeguarding drug mafia Loyangamba Itocha, who is reportedly related to a minister in the Manipur government.

He also mentioned that UKLF chief SS haokip had said in an affidavit that the BJP took support of the militant group to win elections in 2017 and 2019. 

Highlighting that over 5,000 weapons have been looted from 35 police armouries, he said the union home ministry and the NSA have failed. And, the sophisticated weapons looted from state police armouries will not remain constricted to Manipur but will travel across India, creating situations of security threat. 

He said Modi doesn’t want to speak because he doesn’t want to admit the mistake of his government and that he had employed the same tactics in his handling of the wrestler’s protest, Delhi riots, allegations against Adani, China, even when the crisis unfolded during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

BJP leader Nishikant Dubey questioned the unity of the INDIA alliance bloc, highlighting the differences between the parties of the bloc, and said that the no confidence motion is “against a poor man’s son” referring to Modi. 

He counted the central government’s welfare schemes and bizarrely juxtaposed draupadi’s ‘cheerharan’ or stripping of clothes with the opposition’s questioning of the Modi government’s actions. He said: “All those who silently watched the cheerharan did not survive and nor will any of you (questioning the PM) will survive. None of you will come back in 2024.”

His comments were met with loud sloganeering from the opposition, which accused him of disrespecting women. 

Meanwhile, BJD’s Pinaki Misra voiced support for the BJP. He said the parliament “cannot afford” a no confidence motion against the central government, and parties need to give “constructive suggestions” rather than blaming the government for a “legacy issue running back several decades”. He, however, blamed the BJP-led state government for the northeastern state’s situation. 

On the atrocities against women in Manipur, he said, “It is not new to us”, drawing a parallel with sub-saharan African nations. “It is seen everywhere in the world where there is such strife. This is endemic.” 

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