Parliament voted on December 17 for the appointment of a powerful anti-graft ombudsman to investigate wrongdoing in government, ending years of dithering, as public anger has mounted over a string of corruption scandals.
The Congress party, which suffered a big loss in assembly elections in four key states, and was faced with allegations of pervasive culture of corruption rushed through the Lokpal or Ombudsman Bill in the parliament.
The Lokpal Bill was opposed Samajwadi party (SP) which dubbed it as a 'dangerous bill' that would lead to anarchy.
"Now, they have got Lokpal Bill, now your government has awaken. They are doing this intentionally to take away the spotlight from the main issues. They have just done scandals in five years (means ten years of Congress's term). Tell us one thing that they have done for the government. They are just diverting attention by saying Lokpal bill, Lokpal bill. What is this Lokpal bill?," said Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Addressing party members in Lucknow, Mulayam dismissed all accusations of neglect towards the Muzaffarnagar riot victims living in the relief camps.
"This is first time that a state government helped the victims hit by riots. Now, people have gone there to influence them," said Yadav.
Forty-five people have died in the prosperous sugarcane district of Muzaffarnagar and surrounding areas since clashes erupted between Muslims and majority Hindu Jats - a conservative farming community - in a sign of rising tension between the two groups ahead of general elections due by May. Government officials say 10 of the dead are Hindus.
They languish in some 40 schools and mosques which have been converted into relief camps across Muzaffarnagar and neighboring areas, grateful for the safety in numbers and the three meals of rice and lentils provided daily.
Earlier, over 40 children died in the relief camps due severe weather conditions, dengue outbreak and lack of basic hygiene.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the victims in Shamli District on Sunday accompanied by Minister of State for Home R P N Singh and Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry.
He began his visit by meeting victims at the Malakpur relief camp in Shamli district. Later, he also held interactions at nearby Khurgan and Barnavi camps. He is likely to visit several more camps.
The clashes were triggered on August 27 when a Muslim youth was stabbed to death by two Hindu youths after being accused of sexually harassing their sister. A Muslim mob stoned the two Hindus to death.
In the following days the police failed to deal with the perpetrators, and politicians from various parties gave inflammatory speeches, stoking tension between Hindus and Muslims who, local people say, had lived in this area in relative harmony since independence in 1947.
--ANI (Posted on 24-12-2013)