The decision on whether or not to withdraw the communal violence Bill, pending before the Parliament, will be among the first contentious issue the new Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will have to deal with when he takes charge on Thursday. Home Ministry officials have moved a note updating the status of the Bill, which was introduced before the Parliament by former home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in February this year.
With the Parliament session set to be convened in the first week of June, the note detailing the sequence of events and comments given by the state governments is likely to be brought before Singh after he takes over, sources said. It may be recalled that the opposition parties led by the BJP have opposed the Bill, hanging fire since 2005. During the last Parliament session, the UPA-II government tried to introduce the Bill by diluting several provisions, but it was deferred by the then deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha following an uproar.
Besides the communal violence Bill, the preparations for the foundation day of Telangana, scheduled on June 2, will be another key issue on Rajnath’s table. Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked Union home secretary Anil Goswami to expedite the process of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. An inter-department meeting between MHA and DoPT was also convened on Wednesday for cadre division, but it was later decided there will only be provisional division.
The Home Ministry has also conveyed to the Seemandhra and Telangana legislators that they will be sworn-in on two different dates. For Telangana CM designate K Chandrasekhar Rao, taking oath on June 2, the President’s rule will be revoked to facilitate the swearing-in. However, President’s rule will continue to remain in Seemandhra. Sources said a detailed progress report along with suggestions on the bifurcation will be presented before the new Home Minister to seek his final approval. Home Ministry officials have also suggested the provisional division of the state government employees, who can later be allocated the state of their choice. They also said assets within the state will be divided in due course of time and Andhra Bhavan will facilitate both states for the time being. The caretaker governor of Telangana, E S L Narasimhan, who is also in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, will also take oath on June 2. In the presentation to Rajnath, consisting 105 slides, Goswami is also likely to highlight the proposed initiatives to facilitate the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley.
At Tri Nagar, Smriti Irani centered her speech around Modi, with over 10 references in 11-minute extempore.