The Congress Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of
"misleading the nation" on the proposed legislation on communal
violence prevention, saying that a party with "communal agenda" is
going to be naturally worried by such a bill.
"We are shocked at the BJP's reaction. Firstly, nothing has been
finalised. Opinions are being sought from diverse sections. The
BJP is trying to further its communal agenda. It is trying to do
so by pre-emptive strike and debunking a draft bill under
discussion," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said
BJP leader Arun Jaitley said Thursday that provisions of the
Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice
and Reparations) Bill, 2011, intrude into the domain of the state,
damage a federal polity and create an imbalance in inter-community
The draft bill has been put in public domain for suggestions by
the National Advisory Council.
Criticising the BJP, Singhvi said: "The country knows which
political party has communal agenda from its birth, continues to
be bound by umbilical chord of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh) and carries the shame of Gujarat, Karnataka and Babri with
ease, sometimes with pride."
"It is going to be naturally worried, that's why the pre-emptive
strike," he said.
Accusing the BJP of rumour-mongering and pernicious propaganda,
Singhvi said only one of the 60 clauses in the draft bill gives
central government power of intervention in case of communal
disturbance and this provision too was hedged in by three
cumulative conditions such as waiting for state government to take
"What is the harm in (the central government) having residual
power. Secularism is part of basic structure of this country," he
Singhvi also said communal violence prevention bill was a special
act focused at inspiring confidence in minorities, whether
linguistic or religious, in every state.
"If minority community indulges in violence, the IPC (Indian Penal
Code) applies very strongly," he said.
Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said Thursday that
the government was determined to take forward the communal
violence prevention bill despite objections from the BJP.
Jaitley, leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, had alleged the
legislation was "bound to be misused" as it says that members of
the majority community are always at fault during riots.
"I have no doubt that once this law is implemented with the
intention with which it is being drafted, it will create
disharmony in the inter-community relations in India. It is a law
fraught with dangerous consequences. It is bound to be misused,"
Jaitley said in an analysis of the draft bill issued by the party.