BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
New Delhi: The Trinamool Congress opposed the draft of the Communal Violence Bill at the 15th meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC) in the national capital today. The Mamata Banerjee-led party is the first Congress ally to oppose the draft prepared by Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC).
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too opposed the draft of the Communal Violence Bill calling it “dangerous”.
Senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj took on the NAC, which has drafted the bill, and said its draft was “non-secular and denies equivalence even in terms of communal law.”
The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The last meeting of the NIC was held in October 2008.
Meanwhile, other leaders who joined the chorus in opposing the draft of the bill were Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.
Expressing his concern over the bill, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said it was intended to meet “vested interests” and may “undermine the country’s federal structure.”
Making a strong pitch for the rejection of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Regulations) Bill, 2011, which is under consideration of the Central government, he said its provisions may encourage feelings of intolerance on the basis of religion and casts.
“The Bill expresses feeling of mistrust in the state government machinery and lack clarity in defining crimes for organised communal violence,” Chauhan said during the meeting.
Speaking at the meeting, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati criticised the Centre for seeking the views of the state government on the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill without providing a draft of the bill to it.
“It is important to tell that the Centre has not sent the proposed Communal Violence Bill to the state government. Hence it is not the opportune moment to comment on the Bill,” she said.