Communal Violence Bill clauses need to be re-examined: Jay Panda

New Delhi, Dec.7 : Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Jay Panda on Saturday refused to comment on the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill until the final draft is tabled in Parliament.

He also said certain clauses in the bill, which have reportedly been changed by the government, need to be examined carefully.

"Today, there seems to be a report that the government is now changing some of the clauses. These clauses have to be examined very carefully, because the earlier draft provided some provisions which can only be brought in through constitutional amendments, like taking over the law and order situation by the Central Government of a particular area. I cannot comment until we see the final draft that is put up to Parliament," he said.

Meanwhile, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has sent a letter to chief ministers of all states asking them to oppose the bill.

"It's important for state governments to rise above political affiliations and come together to oppose the bill. The Communal Violence Bill is a blatant attempt by the Centre to interfere with and intrude on the powers of elected state governments," Modi wrote in his letter.

Earlier, Modi had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, in which he termed the Communal Violence Bill as ill-conceived, poorly drafted and a recipe for disaster.

Modi and the rest of the BJP top brass have claimed that the Bill could vitiate the atmosphere and polarise Indian society.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Modi described the bill as an attempt to encroach upon the authorities of the state governments and sought wider consultation among the various stakeholders such as the state governments, political parties, police and security agencies etc. before any further movement on the issue.

The Gujarat Chief Minister said his government is sensitive to the issue of communal violence and agreed that there is a need to be vigilant on communal violence but the contents and timing of the bill are suspicious.

Responding to Modi's criticism of the government's Communal Violence Bill, Manmohan Singh on Thursday said it would be his endeavour to develop a broad-based consensus on the proposed legislation.

--ANI (Posted on 07-12-2013)

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