New Delhi | The Congress on Tuesday hit out at Union Minister Kiren Rijiju over his remark that the prime minister has directed ministers to visit the Northeast every 15 days, challenging him to furnish details of the visits of Union ministers to Manipur in the last 97 days.
Intervening in the debate on the no-confidence motion against the government, Rijiju said, "When our government was formed, in the first cabinet meeting, (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji made a group and said that every 15 days, five cabinet ministers and seven ministers of state must tour the Northeast. It is still going on, all the ministers sitting here have toured the northeast." "PM Modi has also given directives to officials to visit the Northeast and meet people. There is no meaning of ruling from Delhi, one can reach the people through service. You never thought about this. The prime minister has won the confidence of the people," Rijiju said.
Reacting to the remarks, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that during the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha, Union Minister Rijiju has "boasted about the prime minister's directions to Cabinet ministers and ministers of state to visit the Northeast every 15 days".
"Yes, we all know about the frequency of visits of Union ministers before any election. But it has been 97 days since the horrific ethnic violence broke out in Manipur. INDIA (opposition bloc) asks how many of Modi's ministers have been to Manipur?" Ramesh said on Twitter.
"We challenge you to furnish details of the visits of Union ministers to Manipur in the last 97 days!" he said.
The Congress accused Prime Minister Modi of taking a "vow of silence" on issues such as the ethnic violence in Manipur and Chinese incursions, and said opposition parties were forced to bring a no-confidence motion against the government to make him speak up.