5 Questions: Anto Antony, Congress
On the attacks on churches in Delhi
What was the issue you raised ?
St Sebastian’s Church in Delhi has been burnt, there has been a loss of Rs 2 crore. Thousands of people have protested, but the authorities did not take any steps. We raised the matter in Parliament and the Home Minister said there will be an SIT. But no official visited the church even after three days. There has been a lacklustre approach. Even after the SIT formation, there was another attack on the church in Jasola area.
What was the Home Minister’s response?
He said the SIT will complete its probe in a time bound manner. There will be stringent measures against any such incident.
You said it’s not an isolated incident? Why do you say so?
It cannot be an isolated incident. There is a deliberate attempt to create tension between the communities here. The government should have adopted a strict stand against the first such incident. If the government had acted strongly, the second incident would not have happened.
Do you see any link between these incidents and the political atmosphere in Delhi?
Obviously. Such incidents are happening because of the government’s approach and its mentality is encouraging such elements. There are forces that want to polarise the society before the elections.
Some of the opposition leaders have linked Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s inflammatory remarks to the incidents of attacks against minorities?
What she said was that no one else has the right to worship or practice any other religion because all others are illegitimate children. If you are illegitimate, you do not get any rights. BJP is trying to polarise the elections. If it happen in Delhi, what kind of security we can expect in rural areas? The government’s stand is very important in such situations.
FROM THE CHAIR
This House, while acknowledging the statement of Prime Minister made in this House on the 4th of December, appeals to all Members of Parliament, Ministers and leaders of all political parties to maintain civility at all costs in public discourse for the successful functioning of parliamentary democracy and to uphold our commitment to constitutional values.
Hamid Ansari, Chairman of Rajya Sabha. The statement broke the logjam over the remark made by Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.
I have received notices of adjournment motion from Shri Rajesh Ranjan and Shri K C Venugopal. The matters, though important enough, do not warrant interruption of business of the day. The matters can be raised through other opportunities. I have, therefore, disallowed all the notices of adjournment motion.
Sumitra Mahajan, Lok Sabha Speaker on adjournment motion sought by some Opposition MPs.
SPEAKER OF THE DAY
Sashi Tharoor, Congress MP
Mr Minister, are you aware of the increasing worldwide trend in Railway development in moving away from steel towards composite plastics, which are very much friendlier to the environment? Even the Railways has initiated the process of laying composite sleepers in more than 10 Railway Zones of the country. In that sense, the projections of the minister and the statements that he is making have nothing to do with the pending reality of diminishing use of steel in the Indian Railways to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu during Question Hour
Sometimes, the law may be blind, but members cannot be blind. I think, we need to make a serious exercise on a matter like this so that we do not regret for any mistake tomorrow Veerappa Moily, Senior Congress leader and former law minister, while participating in a discussion on the Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, 2004.
Not Present: In J&K, addressed an election rally in Samba, then visited Army’s Badami Bagh cantonment and paid tribute to soldiers killed in Friday’s attack in Uri; later addressed another rally in Srinagar
Present for a brief period in the morning; attended meeting of Congress MPs
Present: attended in the morning
Present: attended in the morning. Was seen engaged in a long conversation with Digvijaya Singh. Later seen in conversation with Karan Singh and Ashwani Kumar
The week-long impasse in Rajya Sabha over controversial remarks by Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti ended Monday after Chairman Hamid Ansari appealed to all members and political leaders to “maintain civility” at all costs in public discourse. In Lok Sabha, Zero Hour continued without disruptions barring a brief intervention by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge claiming that his microphone was switched off after PM’s statement on Friday. Home Minister Rajnath Singh apprised the House about the rape in Uber cab in Delhi.