New Delhi,Avishek G Dastidar (Indian Express): The government told the Lok Sabha that if permitted, it was ready to present detailed statistics showing how many incidents of communal violence had taken place during various governments of the past. The issue of violence and verbal attacks against minority communities had been raised by the Congress, leading to an exchange between the benches.
'I have already said that taking the name of the PM Narendra Modi in every issue repeatedly is wrong... that too, in such fashion...' Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said.
When Congress’s K C Venugopal mentioned PM Narendra Modi as he raised the issue, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan interjected saying it was wrong to associate the PM’s name while raising such issues “every now and then”. “I have already said that taking the name of the PM in every issue repeatedly is wrong… that too, in such fashion…” she said, as the opposition protested loudly.
Venugopal alleged that targeting the minority communities’ institutions and sentiments “had become the order of the day”. He said the Hindu Mahasabha general secretary had made speeches attacking the minority communities. “I admit the government has condemned such statements both inside and outside the House. Even our Prime Minister… has assured us that such statements and actions will be curtailed. But what we see is that right-wing elements are day after day making inflammatory statements,” he said.
Mahajan objected, saying the Congress was raising “the same issue” almost every day. The treasury benches too said the Congress was using the Lok Sabha to “utter expressions that would divide the country”. “If this is how this House will be used to utter such expressions, then that will divide the country,” minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
As the entire opposition got on its feet, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge interjected saying the government should teach a lesson to and file cases against those attacking the minority communities because “those people are your supporters, sympathisers and your organisers.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh rose to say the government was ready to table a detailed account of communal violence during various regimes in the past. “Our government’s views on this are that every person has the right to worship his faith and needs to be protected against attack on his place of worship. Our effort should be to instil a sense of confidence in the minority communities and not a sense of fear.”
Rajnath also accused the Congress of raking up old issues to create a communal divide. “Whenever you permit, I can bring to the House a statement showing how many communal attacks have happened during the tenures of previous regimes; how many churches and other places of worship have been attacked, etc, so that the entire country gets to know under whose rule these incidents happen the most,” he said.
The Congress walked out after the Speaker did not allow a discussion on it.