Why is Modi opposed to word INDIA, there’s no difference between INDIA and Bharat: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
New Delhi: Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who has been suspended from Lok Sabha, Saturday said he had no intention to insult Prime Minister Narendra Modi and wondered why was he opposed to the word INDIA for the opposition bloc as it is the same as Bharat.
Addressing a press conference here, he said the Congress has been insisting that the prime minister speaks on Manipur violence and “since he was not speaking I said he is ‘nirav’ which means silent”.
“I didn’t have even the remotest objective to tarnish anyone in Parliament. If anything is termed unparliamentary, the Speaker has the right to delete or expunge it. If a few words were misconstrued as offensive, they could have followed the rule,” he told reporters a day after his suspension.
“Modi ji speaks on everything but Manipur. He is sitting ‘nirav’ which means silent. ‘Nirav’ means silent. My intention was not to insult PM Modi,” the Congress leader said.
The Congress MP from West Bengal’s Baharampur constituency asserted that he has always maintained that he did not use the word to hurt anyone but to express himself.
“PM Modi spoke for only three minutes on the issue (Manipur) while his whole speech (in Parliament) was over two hours long,” he said.
Chowdhury was suspended from Lok Sabha on Thursday for “repeated misconduct” pending an investigation by the privileges committee.
Asked why he did not apologise, the Congress leader retorted why should he apologise for someone’s vengeance or arrogance. He alleged that a former wrestler MP charged at him in a bid to assault him in the House.
Referring to the row over his using an incorrect word for President Droupadi Murmu last year, Chowdhury said, “I sought an apology from Rashtrapati ji immediately, as I committed a mistake by default.” “But I cannot afford to satiate somebody’s thirst for vengeance and retaliation when it is not my fault,” he asserted.
Chowdhury said, “Modi ji has given so many acronyms but today he feels INDIA is not a good word.” “He is such a powerful man, but why does he have a problem with the word INDIA? Now that he has brought Bharatiya, will he contest between INDIA and Bharat? Our Constitution says there is no difference between INDIA and Bharat, but they still want to create differences,” he said.
Asked about the violence during panchayat polls in West Bengal, he accused the BJP of misguiding people to remain in power.
The prime minister will talk about West Bengal, Rajasthan or Chhattisgarh, but he will not speak about violence in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh or Haryana’s Nuh, the Congress leader said.
“They raise issues selectively. But Manipur cannot be compared with any other state … Manipur is a humanitarian disaster,” he said.
“Had incidents in Manipur affected the country, the government would have made more efforts to resolve it,” he alleged.
Chowdhury also referred to Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks in the House that the Centre has deployed security forces in the buffer zone in Manipur.
“He himself admits in the House that the situation in Manipur has worsened,” the Congress leader said, adding, “But he does not say that around 5,000 modern weapons were looted in Manipur.” Asked why the opposition did not participate in discussions on the various bills, Chowdhury said the tradition in House is that until the debate on the no-confidence motion is over, no other issue is to be discussed.
“But the Modi government passed one bill after another, flouting all traditional norms. During this, the opposition could not get a chance to present its views on any bill,” he said.
In 1978, a no-confidence motion was brought in the House and the discussion on the motion started the same day, Chowdhury said, adding the result was that the House ran smoothly.
“Since PM Modi talks on matters ranging from the moon to cheetah, the opposition felt that he would speak on Manipur too, but that did not happen.
“The opposition kept pleading in the House that the situation in Manipur is becoming serious and the prime minister should speak in the House. He kept avoiding us and we brought the no-confidence motion as the last option. Because of that the prime minister came and spoke in the House,” he said.