Says Cong should ensure passage of the bill with vote-on-account while not bowing to BJP pressures
Lucknow : Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday charged the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government of “bowing before the Bharatiya Janata Party” by deferring the passage of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill in the ongoing Parliament session.
At a press conference he said, the Congress was not serious about passing the bill and expressed doubts over the party’s intentions about the welfare and protection of minorities.
His attack on the Congress comes a day after the government was forced to defer the Bill with all opposition parties – including the SP – stalled the Bill saying that its clauses encroached upon the right of state governments to maintain law and order. SP leader in Rajya Sabha Naresh Agarwal was also vocal in his opposition to the Bill, saying that the Congress was trying to push it through and use it to reap political and electoral advantage during the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. “We will not allow the Congress to get any of its bills passed in this session. They should simply bring the vote-on-account, which we will help it pass. People have lost faith in this government and we should go to the people and allow the new government to carry forward the legislative agenda,” Naresh Agarwal said.
Mulayam had sought to single out the Congress as being responsible for the deferring the Bill. The Congress, he said, was concerned about its “benefits and losses” in every situation. He said the Congress-led government should know the opinion of minorities on the bill and later take a decision to fast-track its passage. “The UPA government can get the Bill passed if it honestly wants to,” he said.
Asked if the SP would withdraw support to the UPA government on this issue, Mulayam retorted: “What is the need of withdrawing support? There are hardly two or three months left for this government so what purpose will it serve?”
On Muzaffarnagar riots, he said the state government had done commendable work in relief and rehabilitation of riot survivors but evaded a replying if the state government would introduce a similar bill in the state to prevent communal violence.