Opposition to corner government over Delhi riots in Parliament

Ghughuti Bulletin


Opposition parties will attempt to corner the
BJP government over the communal riots in Delhi that claimed 40 lives when Parliament reopens for the remainder of the budget session on Monday morning. They will also press for home minister
Amit Shah’s resignation over the Delhi police’s failure to rein in communal violence.

Despite the absence of a coordinated floor strategy to take on the government, the
Delhi riots will see all opposition parties demand answers from home minister Amit Shah over Delhi police’s lapses in controlling the communal conflagration.

In Lok Sabha, Congress will lead the opposition onslaught against the government, while Bahujan Samaj Party will also submit adjournment motion notices to demand a debate over the violence in Delhi. In Rajya Sabha, leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad is expected to coordinate with like-minded opposition parties to formalise a common strategy to attack the government.

Trinamool Congress will also demand Shah’s response to Delhi police’s lapses apart from raising the issue.

On Sunday, Congress’ leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said the party will strongly raise the issue of riot-torn Delhi and ask why the violence happened. “The government has miserably failed to maintain law and order. I think there must be some sort of a nexus between the rioters and a section of police officials which resulted in gruesome killings and arson that has tarnished our image across the globe. This is a matter of serious concern for us,” Chowdhury said, reasserting Congress’ demand for Shah’s resignation.

Sources said Trinamool Congress, the CPI and CPM will also raise the issue in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. “Left parties will strengthen the voice of the Opposition in Parliament and raise the issue of
Delhi violence in both the Houses. I have given a notice under Rule 267 to the Rajya Sabha chairman to discuss the issue in the House,” CPM MP K K Ragesh said.

BSP leader Danish Ali will also move an adjournment motion to demand discussion on the Delhi riots.

The opposition onslaught comes close on the heels of a Congress delegation, including party chief Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with President Ram Nath Kovind, in which they urged him to call for Shah’s resignation over his alleged “abdication of duty” during the communal violence in Delhi, reminding the Centre of its “raj dharma”. Several non-Congress opposition parties also wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind to direct authorities to ensure peace is restored in violence-hit northeast Delhi and action against those accused of making provocative speeches.

Leaders from parties like NCP, CPM, CPI, RJD, LJD, DMK and AAP also demanded the resignation of the home minster for failing to control the violence.

On Sunday, a group of women activists also released a ground report on the Delhi riots and accused the government of being “completely absent” in the relief operations in the aftermath of the communal violence. The group, including Annie Raja, Anjali Bhardwaj, Geetanjali Krishna and Amrita Johri among others, submitted a status report based on their visit to Bhajanpura, Chaman Park and Shiv Vihar — some of the worst-hit riot affected areas — on February 29, 2020.

The report said, “Based on seeing the ground situation and talking to affected people, it is clear that the Central and Delhi governments have failed in providing any modicum of relief to those affected or displaced by the recent spate of violence. In each place, families which had to abandon their homes due to violence are taking refuge with their relatives or have made private arrangements in different localities or are staying in temporary accommodation provided by private individuals. The Central and Delhi governments have not set up a single relief camp in the areas which we visited,” the report said, adding that all relief initiatives were driven by citizens.

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