Members of newly formed Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance by the all opposition parties protest over ethnic violence in Manipur during Monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi, India, 24 July 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/MANISH JAIN

No confidence motion against Indian PM Modi begins centered on ethnic violence

New Delhi, Aug 8 (EFE).- The Indian Parliament began Monday to debate a motion of no confidence against the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The no confidence motion was initiated by the opposition alliance with the aim of forcing the prime minister to speak on an ongoing wave of ethnic violence in the northeastern state of Manipur.

The conflict has left more than 142 dead and 60,000 displaced since May 3, according to official figures.

However, Modi has remained silent so far on the issue except to condemn an incident, captured in a video, involving two women who were forced to parade naked by a mob.

At least one of them was allegedly gangraped.

“Why did it take almost 80 days for him to address the issue, and that too only for 30 seconds?” said Gaurav Gogoi, a member of the opposition Indian National Congress (INC) party while initiating the debate in the Lok Sabha or the lower house of parliament.

“Despite that, even till today, he has not uttered a word of condolence or given a call for peace and harmony,” he added.

The no confidence motion is not likely to succeed given the strong majority enjoyed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as it has 303 of the 543 seats in the lower house.

The opposition, however, hopes that this move will force the prime minister to appear before parliament, and speak on the violence between the majority Meitei and the tribal Kuki minority in Manipur, a state ruled by the BJP.

Modi came to power in 2014 and won a second term, with a landslide victory in the 2019 general election.

This is the second no-confidence motion against him, after an earlier one failed the floor test in the parliament in 2018.

Since his first term, the opposition has criticized Modi’s low attendance in Parliament, of which there is no official data unlike other parliamentarians. EFE