Uproar in Parliament over blasts

Parliament on Friday witnessed an uproar over the twin blasts in Hyderabad. The BJP-led Opposition slammed the UPA government, especially in the wake of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s statement that the Centre had received intelligence inputs on imminent terrorist attacks two days before the incident.

Shinde, who visited the blast site on Friday, addressed both Houses after his return to the capital. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) would investigate into the case in conjunction with the Andhra Pradesh Police.

“The government is committed to combating such cowardly terror attack and it shall make all possible efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and masterminds behind the blasts and ensure that they are punished as per the law,” he said.

‘Routine exercise’
The Opposition, however, brushed aside Shinde’s statements as “a routine exercise.”
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj questioned the inability of the authorities concerned to thwart the terror attacks despite the Centre having prior information.

She found support not only in Sharad Yadav of JD(U), Anant Gite of Shiv Sena and Basudev Acharia of CPM, but also from UPA allies like Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and DMK’s T R Baalu.

The Lok Sabha also observed a two-minute silence in memory of the Hyderabad blasts victims.

The opposition MPs created a ruckus, demanding a statement from the home minister. Speaker Meira Kumar had to adjourn the House till 12 noon.
The Rajya Sabha witnessed two adjournments over the issue. Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House, Arun Jaitley, said intelligence network in the country should be depoliticised.

“Please allow our intelligence network to be used primarily for national security. If you use the network for quasi-political intelligence, I think it is a waste of national resources,” said Jailtley.

Addressing the House at 2 pm, Shinde enumerated the steps taken by the Centre and the state government in the aftermath of Thursday’s blast. He also gave a brief account of his visit to the blast site with Home Secretary R K Singh and NIA chief S C Sinha.

Shinde cornered

Swaraj, however, criticised Shinde for failing to demonstrate the government’s commitment to combat terrorism.

“Is the Centre’s role limited to sending information to the state governments or help them prevent any such attempts as well? Isn’t helping the states to foil such nefarious plans also part of the Centre’s responsibility?” she wondered.

Noting that intelligence inputs received by the Centre had also indicated that Bangalore and Mumbai could have been targeted, Swaraj asked Shinde whether the government had taken any measure to avert similar strikes there.

The opposition MPs later trooped to the well, demanding a discussion on the issue. Stating that the government was ready for a discussion, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath urged Deputy Speaker Karia Munda to fix a date for the debate.

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