BJP reaction on riot bill premature: Congress

Singhvi counters Jaitley, argues it doesn't rob state of powers


Sweta Ranjan | May 27, 2011

The Congress on Friday termed as premature the BJP’s reaction to the draft Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, after the opposition party said the legislation was burdened with dangerous consequences.

While the BJP calls the bill “intrusion into the domain of the state, damage the federal polity and create an imbalance in inter-community relationship", the Congress believes it is “a highly important piece of legislation which is for the welfare of the people”.
“The Congress is shocked at the premature reaction of the BJP as nothing has been finalised yet and the bill is merely a proposal. BJP is trying is to abort the bill before its birth, which is a reflection of deep and pervasive fear and guilt of BJP,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters.

“The country knows which political party has the communal agenda from its birth and evolution,” he added.

He was reacting to BJP leader Arun Jaitley’s detailed criticism of the draft bill which has been prepared by the National Advisory Council (NAC) and is put in the public domain. The draft bill has been sent to the home and law ministries for their comments.

Singhvi said, “There are 60 clauses in favour of the state government. Only one clause (clause 55) proposes that, in order to handle communal violence in a state, the central government can make interventions firstly by communicating to the state government, will wait for the state government to act and then if the state government fails to take any action against communal violence the central government would interfere.”

He added that the draft bill does not rob the states of their powers as the bill gives the provision to the state government to challenge the interference of the central government in a court of law if the state government finds it unjustified.



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