Government attempting to polarise voters: Congress
The Congress Wednesday accused the government of attempting to polarise voters in states where assembly elections and by-polls are to be held.
Opening a discussion on communal violence in the Lok Sabha on behalf of his party, Congress leader in the lower house Mallikarjun Kharge said the government was pursuing a policy to stifle the voice of the minorities.
"There is an ongoing attempt to suppress the minorities in the country so that they disassociate themselves from mainstream politics," Kharge said.
He said in whichever states elections were approaching, there was an increase in communal violence.
Kharge said: "There are riots taking place in states which are to go for elections or by-polls. In Uttar Pradesh, more than 600 incidents of communal violence were orchestrated to polarise the voters."
He claimed that according to government data, 113 incidents of communal violence took place in May and June after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government was sworn in.
There was uproar in the Lok Sabha in the morning when the Congress wanted the discussion on communal violence to be taken up immediately and the government insisted on going ahead with the legislative agenda first.
Kharge said though his party had given a notice for a discussion on the matter at least a fortnight back, the debate was yet to take place.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was seen listening attentively when the debate took place later in the day.
He had led an unprecedented noisy protest to the speaker's seat Aug 6 while protesting against rising incidents of communal violence.
Rebutting him sharply, BJP MP from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath said there were many states where communal incidents took place and Congress was in power.
"Though law and order is a state government affair, if they (Congress) would have analysed truthfully they would have found why polarisation is taking place.
He alleged the Uttar Pradesh government has taken back cases against terrorists and allotted special funds for paying salaries of Islamic teachers.
"They (opposition parties) never raised a voice when Kashmiri Hindus were displaced, they never raised it when Assam riots took place," he said, adding that truth is always bitter.
Trinamool Congress' Sudip Bandopadhyay said it is the responsibility of the government to stop incidents of communal violence.
RJD MP Pappu Yadav elicited protests when he named BJP president Amit Shah in the house and said right wing organisations were responsible for incidents of communal violence.
PDP's Mehbooba Mufti said the government should try and find a permanent solution to the recurring incidents of communal violence.
(Posted on 13-08-2014)