The BJP has "set fire to Manipur" and is now trying to to do the same in Haryana, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said in Lok Sabha today in a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government.
Addressing the Lower House during the debate on the no-confidence motion against the BJP government, Mr Gandhi said, "You are traitors... That is why Prime Minister does not visit Manipur. You are not protectors of Bharat Mata..."
"The Prime Minister has not gone to Manipur because he doesn't consider it a part of India. You (BJP) have divided Manipur," Mr Gandhi said, amid loud protests from the treasury benches. He alleged that the centre can stop the violence in Manipur by calling in the Army, but has not acted yet.
Invoking the epic Ramayana, Mr Gandhi said Raavan was not killed by Ram, but by his arrogance. "You have sprinkled kerosene everywhere. You have set fire to Manipur. You are now trying the same thing in Haryana," he said, referring to recent communal clashes in Gurugram and Nuh that killed six people.
The remarks sparked a huge uproar in the House, with senior ministers demanding Mr Gandhi's apology.
Earlier, Mr Gandhi said that when he set out on the Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu to Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, he was confident of his fitness and did not expect it to be difficult. "But this country does not tolerate arrogance. Within a few days, an old injury resurfaced and I was in pain," he said.
The Congress leader recounted how he derived strength and courage from the people he met during the march and also felt their pain and hardship. Mr Gandhi also recounted his conversations with two women in the relief camps set up to shelter those displaced due to ethnic violence in Manipur.