Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday supported the Communal Violence Bill, but insisted on a political dialogue with states before finalising it if the Congress-led UPA was serious about the matter and not bringing it on the eve of elections to derive political benefits.
"It’s a welcome step which was desired for long," Kumar told reporters emerging from a meeting of the cabinet here.
His former NDA partner BJP has opposed the Bill with its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi describing it as "recipe for disaster."
Kumar, who is the driving force of the JD(U), insisted on political dialogue with the states before giving it shape of a law.
"Consultation at executive level conducted by the Union Home Secretary with states is not sufficient. There should be political dialogue with the states before finalising the legislation if the Congress-led UPA is serious on the issue and not bringing it for discussion on the eve of the 2014 elections to derive political benefits," he said.
The Bihar Chief Minister said there were talks for such a legislation for several years and many drafts were made, but nothing concrete happened.
"Now that the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Accessto Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013, has been cleared by the Union Cabinet for introduction in the Parliament, it’s a desired step," he said.
Kumar said his party thinks if some state fails to stop communal violence, the Centre should declare it as a "disturbed area" and intervene directly. Besides, the victims should be given adequate compensation.
Highlighting the seriousness of his government towards riots victims, he said after coming to power in 2005, a commission was set up in 2006 on the 1990 communal violence in Bhagalpur.
Many cases were reopened and chargesheet submitted in the courts to nail the culprits, he said.
For victims of Bhagalpur riots, the Bihar government doubled the life long pension to Rs 5000 a month recently, Kumar added.