Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh
New Delhi: Taking part in the debate on communal violence in Lok Sabha, the Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP-led NDA government of taking riots lightly and warned that the policy of dividing the people will not always work.
While clarifying that he was no saying that the government was behind riots, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge questioned as to why such incidents were on the rise since BJP had came to power.
“These incidents are on the rise and we haven`t analysed as to who is sparking the riots. It shows that the government is taking the issue lightly.”
Warning the BJP he said, “This policy of dividing people will not always work and people will punish you in some way in the future.”
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.
He said while BJP was accusing Congress of indulging in "vote bank politics", the truth was the other way round.
Kharge also alleged that as there were twelve bypolls scheduled in the state of Uttar Pradesh and that is why there had been over 600 riots there.
“No coincidence that riots are in the in the poll-bound states only,” he said.
“Your (BJP) activists are inciting violence in some regions. But we always talk about joining people,” he further said.
At the same time he maintained that everyone needed to be included in order for the nation to progress and said, “Religion has taken birth for the upliftment of human beings. Human beings are not born for religion. This country is belongs to everyone.”
Reacting to Congress` charge, BJP MP from Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath said that his party did not have a communal agenda but the grand old party did. “Our slogan is isabka saath, sabka vikas.”
On his part he accused the Congress of talking only to imams. “Is this a secular agenda?” he asked.
“Today the very Hindu religion is under attack and so it is bound to close its ranks. Hinduism is not communal,” he said, adding, “There has been no debate in Parliament about three lakh Kashmiri Hindus who have been forced to leave their state. The Congress has never condemned the migration of the Kashmiri Pandits from J&K.”
“The scales will be balanced only when there is a uniform civil code,” Adityanath opined.
Further hitting out at the Opposition, Adityanath said, “The Congress feel no sorrow for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. They advocated Bangaldeshis who have illegally migrated and displaced local Assamese.”
Adityanath also slammed that Uttar Pradesh government and said that many a times, cases of terrorism were registered but the Samajwadi Party attempted to withdrawn them.
“We should see who is really communal and have a debate on this matter,” he said.
Mohammad Salim (CPI-M) said there has been spurt in communal violence in the last two months and said that instead of provocating communal violence, lawmakers should try to restrain them.
In an apparent reference to BJP, he said people think they are "thekedar (contractor)" of a particular religion, but such feelings should not exist as it leads to intolerance, PTI reported.
NCP leader Tariq Anwar warned against playing with religious sentiments and said no step should be taken which will benefit the enemies of the country.
On the other hand Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay said that it was imperative to have unity in diversity and asked the government in being alert in preventing communal violence.
“We should take all efforts to ensure that our country is totally protected and people live peacefully with each other,” he said, adding, “Lawmakers should evolve a mechanism to ensure that communal violence does not take place.”
And PDP MP Mehbooba Mufti had this to say - “India is a nation of secular people, whether Hindus, Christians or Muslims, but unfortunately since this government has come to power, things that should not have happened, have happened.”
When his turn came to speak, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MP Asaduddin Owaisi asked as to whether the Intelligence Bureau would only keep a watch on Muslims as suspects. He also asked the NDA government - “Will you maintain the ethos of secularism or will you destroy it?”
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. Rahul was present in the House during the debate but did not speak.
With PTI inputs