Stormy winter session ahead: Congress trying to save itself through communal violence bill

Lok Sabha adjourned within minutes after its start. Communal violence bill faces heat of opposition and UPA allies.

The winter session of the parliament started today. The speakers in respective houses welcomed the members after the national anthem was played for respecting the parliament sanctity.

Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar also welcomed the Japanese delegation which was present in the visitor’s gallery to observe the session.

The winter session had a rocky start as the Lok Sabha was adjourned minutes after it started.

The sessions are fated for such stormy start as the UPA government plans to pass a number of bills in this session. These bills include the much debated and much stalled women reservation bill and the communal violence bill.

The principal opposition Bhartiya Janata Party and UPA allies are against the communal violence bill calling it “ill-conceived”. The BJP prime ministerial candidate Narrendra Modi has even written to the Prime Minister showing his concerns.

“As a Chief Minister of a government that is sensitive to the issue of communal violence and a state that has been riot free for over a decade now, I agree that there is a need to be vigilant on communal violence but the contents and timing of the bill are suspicious… such an attempt before the Lok Sabha elections is suspicious and is driven by votebank politics rather than genuine concern for preventing communal violence,” Modi said in his letter.

The BJP has been calling the bill a ‘communal vote bill’ devised to garner votes. They said that the government was attempting to bring this bill to cover up their shortcomings and corruption. The party also said that it will vehemently oppose the bill if the governmnet will try to forcefully pass it.

Other parties, including allies of UPA, have called the bill highly unnecessary as there are always many bills in place to tackle a communal violence situation. Recently Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa opposed the bill saying that it impinged on the rights of the state governments.

Also the allies and the opposition has been saying that the bill was poorly drafted and took the majority community for granted.

There are 38 bills in total which UPA wishes to pass in eight sittings of the winter session.

Meanwhile the Congress party’s core group meet is underway in which it is likely to chalk out the floor strategy for the short winter session. Prime minister Manmohan Singh, while briefing the media outside the parliament said that the government will try to build a consensus over the issues related to communal violence bill.

Given the exit poll results in the assembly elections, the Congress is trying to pass the bill to show that the government is trying to empower women and that it wants communal aminity in the country.

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