He took a tour of the reactor vault and the Control Room of the Reactor. He was briefed about the salient features of this reactor.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not being present in the Parliament and instead campaigning for the upcoming elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
“Prime Minister is not willing to come to Parliament and speak at the House. Instead, he is busy campaigning for the upcoming elections. He is going to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh,” Mallikarjun Kharge said. Pointing out that the Home Minister cannot be a substitute for the Prime Minister, “The Home Minister has certain limitations while the Prime Minister has access to all sorts of information and feedback, which the Home Minister does not have. He said, only the PM was in a better position to make a statement on such an issue like Manipur.
“Today, he is in Pune. How important is the event there that he has to go there leaving the Parliament and speak against the Opposition parties?” Kharge questioned.
The Leader of Opposition who is also the Congress party president charged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is busy making election speeches but is not ready to work on a statement in the House on Manipur issue.
“He is making election speeches. But he is not ready to work on a small statement in the House on Manipur issue where more than 200 people have died, 5000 people are injured, nearly 60,000 have vacated their houses…,” Kharge said.
The Congress chief asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come to Parliament instead of speaking outside the House. He also accused him of taking advantage of the situation and using it for election propaganda.
“Come to Parliament, give your statement and then let us respond to those. We will answer all your questions. He is going outside and telling. He is taking advantage of all these things for election propaganda,” the Leader of Opposition said.
Speaking about not being allowed to speak in Parliament, Mallikarjun Kharge said, “We are doing this press conference because the government is not letting us speak in the Parliament. PM is discussing other issues but he is not replying to us.”
“PM Modi is not willing to give a statement on the Manipur issue, he is not speaking in the Parliament. They are trying to create confusion that the Opposition is not ready to discuss the issue, but we are waiting for the past 11 days to discuss this issue,” he added.
Kharge said that the Prime Minister is privy to certain information that is not available with the Home Ministry, which is why the opposition parties wanted PM Modi to speak on the issue.
“The matter (Manipur issue) does not come under the purview of the Home Minister alone, the kind of information that the Prime Minister is privy to, is not available to the Home Minister. It has limitations,” Kharge reasoned.
Speaking on his opposition to Rule 176 in the Parliament, Kharge said that Rule 267 allows the opposition to have a broader discussion instead of Rule 176 which only allows discussion for a short duration.
“There is a difference between Rule 267 and 176. In Rule 176, the discussion can go on for two- two-and-a-half hours, in 267 a long discussion can be held and every party leader can have their say,” Kharge explained.
Kharge even asked Home Minister Amit Shah why he has not been able to solve the Manipur issue despite being in the state for three days.
“They said that the Home Minister was there for three days. If he had stayed for three days, why did he not solve the issue? Why is it still raging? We want to ask him that,” the Leader of Opposition said.
Speaking on his microphone being turned off, Kharge said, “My mic was muted in 10 seconds. How does it happen? Why are you threatened by me? This is an insult.”
On the prospects of INDIA alliance ahead of the 2024 polls, Kharge said, “INDIA party will not stand back. We will defeat them (BJP) in 2024. We will fight for democracy and save the Constitution.”
In the joint press conference of the INDIA parties, apart from Kharge and KC Venugopal from the Congress party, Derek O’Brien fromt the TMC, Manoj Singh from RJD, Mahua Majhi from Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Anil Hegde from Janata Dal United along with others were present. Interestingly, Keshav Rao from the BRS was also present.
The Monsoon session kicked off from July 20 and will conclude on August 11. Opposition members have been seeking discussion on Manipur under Rule 267 in the Rajya Sabha since the beginning of the session.