BJP, AIADMK oppose communal violence bill

Despite the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government amending the controversial communal violence bill, the BJP and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) objected to the possible move of bringing the bill in Parliament which it says is driven by “communal and polarising politics”.

The amendments were carried out to accommodate stiff reservations from states and political parties that the legislation encroaches on the federal structure by giving powers to the Centre to intervene in law and order and is tilted towards the minority community.

The government has circulated to states the amended version of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, diluting the major objections. The revised bill now says that the state will have to set up a committee to probe riot-affected areas.

Similarly, taking into account the BJP’s main objection that the draft bill is discriminatory and favourable to the minority community, the government has removed the anomaly by saying that people, irrespective of their caste and religion, will be prosecuted for flaring up communal passions.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley targeted the Manmohan Singh government for trying to bring the bill again. “In order to polarise the country on communal lines, the home ministry has again written a letter to the state governments. There hasn't so far been adequate consultation with the stakeholders,” he wrote in his blog.

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