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Communal violence: BJP, Congress clash in Lok Sabha

India TV News Desk 13 Aug 2014, 18:36:52 PM IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi:  Ruling BJP and opposition Congress today clashed in Lok Sabha over communal riots in the country with both parties accusing each other of pursuing a divisive agenda and questioning secular credentials.

Initiating the discussion on ‘Need for more effective mechanisms to deal with communal violence', Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that over 600 riots had taken place in various parts of the country in two months after Narendra Modi government came to power.

Amid strong protests by ruling benches, he suggested that BJP and its affiliates were trying to “divide the society” to retain power and warned that if it was not controlled, “we will repent”.

Naming VHP and Bajrang Dal and referring to certain comments made by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Kharge said the “communal forces” had got emboldened after BJP came to power as they feel that they have “political power” now and would be protected.

“We talk about uniting the society, you talk about dividing the society. You divide the society on the basis of religion and implant your principles on suppressed sections like minorities so that they remain away from power,” the Congress leader told BJP.

Asking BJP not to “incite” riots, he questioned why the communal violence was taking place in states going to polls like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

He said while BJP was accusing Congress of indulging in “vote bank politics”, the truth was the other way round.

Hitting back at Congress, BJP leader Yogi Adityanath said, “You claim you are secular but the agenda you implement is communal.”

The House took up a debate on the communal violence nearly a week after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi led his party members into the Well to demand urgent debate on the issue.

Adityanath said there have been thousands of riots during UPA rule and even before that 3.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits were driven out of Kashmir but Congress remained silent.

The BJP leader also referred to communal violence in Assam and anti-Sikh riots of 1984 in Delhi to target Congress.

He suggested setting up a Special Investigative Team (SIT) headed by Supreme Court judge to probe all communal incidents to unravel who was behind these.

Asserting that Hindu philosophy is ‘live and let live', Adityanath said in recent times, there have been conspiracies against Hindus.

There are more than 12 lakh sadhus and saints in the country but Imams were given allowances, he said and wondered “whether this is secular”.

He also criticised the Uttar Pradesh government's efforts to withdraw criminal charges against “terrorists”, a move which was eventually stopped by court.

He also said that Congress and the Left had joined hands and held a special sitting of Assembly to demand release of the main accused in the Coimbatore bomb blast, evoking protests.

Taking offence to certain remarks made by Adityanath, Congress member K C Venugopal raised point of order. Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai assured the member that the matter would be looked into and if necessary those remarks would be expunged.

AIMIM member Asaduddin Owaisi also tried to raise point of order saying that figures of communal violence incidents mentioned by Adityanath were wrong but Thambidurai did not entertain the demand, saying he could speak on it when he gets the chance.

Earlier, Kharge said BJP should not claim to be “thekedar” (contractor) of any particular community as the country belongs to all religions, castes and creeds.

“Only because you got government does not mean that you will suppress others,” he said, while alleging that BJP was indulging in “polarisation” for votes, including in Bihar.