The Modi government has survived a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, after a three-day debate over the ethnic violence in Manipur, a northeastern state ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The motion was moved by the opposition parties, who accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of choosing silence and not doing enough to end the unrest that has claimed more than 150 lives and displaced over 50,000 people since May.
The no-confidence motion was defeated by a voice vote on Thursday, as the BJP and its allies have a comfortable majority in the 543-member house. Modi, who spoke for more than an hour in his reply to the debate, assured the people of Manipur that peace would return soon and that the central and state governments were making all possible efforts to ensure the strictest punishment for those guilty of crimes, especially against women.
The violence in Manipur was triggered by an affirmative action controversy, in which the Meiteis, a Hindu-majority community, demanded a special status that would allow them to buy land in the hills populated by the Kukis and other tribal groups, who are mostly Christians and get a share of government jobs. The Kukis protested against this demand, leading to clashes between the two communities that escalated into riots, arson, and mob attacks.