Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra attacked the BJP-led NDA government on Monday for suspending her in the last Lok Sabha session. She said that the saffron paid a very heavy price for throttling her voice, which led to the loss of 63 BJP MPs in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking during a discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address to a joint sitting of Parliament, Moitra—who represents the Krishnanagar constituency in West Bengal— said the BJP will not be able to treat the opposition the way they treated them during the last session.

“Last time I stood, I was not allowed to speak. The ruling party paid a very heavy price for throttling the voice of one MP,” PTI quoted the TMC MP as saying. Moitra was referring to her suspension in the last session.

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“In their attempt to silence me, the public silenced them, causing them to lose 63 MPs… mujhko bithane ke chakkar mein janta ne aapko bitha diya, aapke 63 MPs loss kar diya,” Moitra began, setting a defiant tone.

Moitra condemned the installation of the Sengol in Parliament, calling it a symbol of monarchy with no place in a democracy.

Moitra also asserted that he government, due to the BJP’s minority status, is not stable and because of its dependency on allies, it can collapse any day.

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“The BJP’s ‘raj tantra’ has been reduced by the ‘lok tantra’ of this country. This is not a stable government. It depends on multiple allies who have a history of U-turns. We are 234 warriors this time, having walked on fire. You will not be able to treat us like last time,” she said.

Omission of critical issues

Referring to the President’s speech, Moitra criticised the Modi government for omission of critical issues.

“There are six themes in the President’s address. The budget for the North-East has increased four times, yet the word ‘Manipur’ is nowhere in the speech.

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“The Prime Minister mentioned ‘Muslim’, ‘madrassa’, ‘mutton’, ‘machhli’ and ‘mujra’ but not ‘Manipur’ once during the campaigning. We don’t need you to look East or act East. We need you to work East and, most importantly, embrace East,” she said.

Women empowerment

Challenging the government’s claims on women empowerment, Moitra said “This is a complete untruth. You delayed reservation in Parliament because you fear ‘naari shakti'”

She said there are just 74 women MPs this time, with the BJP having only 30 out of 240.

In contrast, the TMC had 37% women MPs last time and 38% this time, she noted.

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“While we have empowered three lakh ‘lakhpati didis’, the BJP seems focused on creating ‘arabpati dadas’,” Moitra said.

On Kashmir

The TMC MP questioned the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

“If abrogating it was such a good idea, why did the BJP not field candidates in Baramulla, Srinagar and Anantnag-Rajouri? You downgraded Ladakh, and five years later, they are still waiting for inclusion in the Sixth Schedule. As a result, the Ladakhis relegated you to the third place” she said.

Infrastructure projects

Criticising the government’s infrastructure projects, Moitra said, “You are sanctioning 1.08 lakh crore for Vande Bharat Bullet Train Project. In Balasore last year, three trains collided as there was no ‘kavach’; last week, in the train accident there was no ‘kavach’. With the current level of funding, it will take 50 years for ‘kavach’ to be installed on all trains.

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‘Kavach’ is a Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) that provides automated train protection as well as collision prevention capabilities for the trains.

“Our aviation sector has become a domestic hazard hub, with newly constructed airports having canopies falling and the Pragati Maidan tunnel flooding. This is what happens when infrastructure is poorly planned and rushed for photo opportunities by the supreme leader,” she said.

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