It was a rare day in Parliament when MPs, cutting across party lines, voiced concern for the people from northeast who were fleeing from various states amidst rumours that they would be attacked. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who spoke in both the Houses, said the whole country was together in protecting the people from northeast.
Both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha discussed the issue at length and even cancelled the Question Hour. Stating that the country belonged to the people of northeast as much as to anybody else, the Prime Minister said: “It is our obligation to protect the people of northeast. The government will discharge its duty to the best of its ability so that a feeling of insecurity among the people of northeast is brought under control.”
Condemning the act of spreading rumours and thereby creating insecurity in the minds of people, the Prime Minister also said rumour mongers and miscreants would be brought to book. “What is at stake is the unity and integrity of our country. What is at stake is the communal harmony and it is the solemn obligation of all of us, regardless of the party, that we may work together to create an atmosphere where this rumour mongering will come to an end (so) that people of northeastern states feel genuinely that any part of our country welcomes them,” he added in the Rajya Sabha.
He said he had spoken to Chief Ministers of various states following the spread of rumours, which forced members of the northeastern community to leave south Indian cities like Bangalore.
The message was echoed by members of both Houses. The rare unanimity saw Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar appreciating the sentiment of oneness in the House.