'Practice Rajdharma': Opposition Invokes Vajpayee To Target Modi Govt on Manipur

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi and DMK's TR Baalu both recalled former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's remarks on Rajdharma.

3 min read
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One of the highlights of the first day of the No Confidence Motion debate in the Lok Sabha was the manner in which a few Opposition MPs invoked former Prime Minister and BJP icon Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's alleged silence on the violence in Manipur, the Opposition recalled Vajpayee's advice to Modi when the latter was the CM of Gujarat in 2002.

Introducing the Motion of No Confidence, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi asked why Manipur CM N Biren Singh had not been removed as yet.

"During the 2002 Gujarat riots, then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji visited the state. He visited refugee camps in Gujarat too. But when Manipur was burning, PM Modi was busy campaigning for elections in Karnataka," Gogoi said.

“Why did he (PM Modi) take about 80 days to speak on Manipur and when he did, why did he speak only for 30 seconds? After that there has been no peace appeal on Manipur from Modi. Ministers are saying they will speak, but as Prime Minister, the power of his words cannot be matched by ministers,” Gogoi added.


Gogoi further accused PM Modi of being insensitive to the plight of people affected by the second COVID-19 wave.

“When people were gasping for breath during the COVID-19 second wave, the Prime Minister was seeking votes in West Bengal. When women were being assaulted in Manipur, the Prime Minister was seeking votes in Karnataka. What kind of nationalism is this that places power above the nation?” the Assam MP asked.


TR Baalu Praises Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Meanwhile, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP TR Baalu, who participated in the debate said that Vajpayee stood behind ‘Rajdharma’, "...but today we cannot stand behind them when women were striped and paraded naked”.

Responding to BJP MP Nishikant Dubey's invocation of the Mahabharata, Baalu said “Krishna advised that you are not killing your friends but evil … the same thing I am doing. There was no other way than to bring a No Confidence Motion to get the presence of Prime Minister in the House".

"I have friends in the ruling party including PM Modi, all of whom I respect. I never hesitated to oppose them," Baalu said.

He added that many of his friends in the BJP were due to Vajpayee's leadership.

The DMK leader said that he is supporting the no-confidence motion because "we want to kill evil".


The other leader who spoke about Rajdharma was Biju Janata leader Pinaki Misra, though he was opposing the No Confidence Motion and supporting the government.

"Every right thinking person has said that the chief minister of Manipur ought to have conducted his politics and policies on the basis of 'Rajdharma' which perhaps has been lacking there, there is no doubt about it," Misra said.


What is Rajdharma?

'Rajdharma' as a concept constitutes the judicious duties of the King towards his people. The basic concern of the 'Rajdharma' is defined as the welfare of the people.

After the 2002 Gujarat riots, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said, "I have only one advice to the chief minister, which is to implement the idea of Rajdharma... the word has a good, purposeful meaning. I too am attempting to follow this".

"This should be done without any discrimination based on caste, creed, religion," Vajpayee had told Modi while visiting the state to review the aftermath of the riots.

Soon after, Modi interrupted Vajpayee and said "Wohi toh kar raha hoon saab..(That's what I am doing, sir)"

In his reply to Modi, Vajpayee had said, “Mujhe vishwas hai ke Modiji bhi wohi kar rahe hai,” (I am confident that CM Modi is doing that).


The 'INDIA' Opposition bloc, led by the Congress, moved a No Confidence Motion against PM Modi's BJP government. Though the numbers are in favour of the Modi government, the Opposition has moved the vote to get Modi to respond to their charges on the ongoing violence in Manipur.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called a parliamentary party meeting where PM Modi reportedly said that the "arrogant alliance" needs to be countered by the NDA by a show of unity.

While the No Confidence Motion debate will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, PM Modi is expected to give his reply on Thursday, 10 August.

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