Cong votes in favour of UAPA bill after opposing it in LS, Left accuses party of ‘betraying’ peoplehttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/cong-votes-in-favour-of-uapa-bill-after-opposing-it-in-ls-left-accuses-party-of-betraying-people-5873617/

Cong votes in favour of UAPA bill after opposing it in LS, Left accuses party of ‘betraying’ people

Clearing that the party is not against the law but some amendments, Congress leader P Chidambaram said "an individual who commits a terrorist act is punishable. But there is no clear differentiation driven out between punishing an unlawful association and punishing the member of the unlawful organisation. "

Cong votes in favour of UAPA bill after opposing it in LS, Left accuses party of 'betraying' people
Congress leader P Chidambaram. (Screengrab from Lok Sabha proceedings)

The Congress on Friday voted in favour of the passage of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha after it had opposed it in the lower house and demanded that the amendment be sent to a select committee.

Clearing that the party is not against the law but some amendments, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said “an individual who commits a terrorist act is punishable. But there is no clear differentiation driven out between punishing an unlawful association and punishing the member of the unlawful organisation.”

Questioning the introduction of the amendment, Chidambaram asked why an individual be named a terrorist when the organisation he belongs to has already been banned. The amendment in the UAPA bill allows the Centre to designate individuals as terrorists and seize their properties.

Accusing the Congress of “betraying” the people of the country and having “lost” its vision, the Left parties on Friday hit out at the grand old party for supporting the government on the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill.

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“The Congress backstabbed democracy. They betrayed the minorities. They betrayed the people of India by voting in favour of the draconian UAPA Bill in the Rajya Sabha,” Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Elamaram Kareem said.

“The way bills are being passed in this session, particularly the draconian UAPA Bill, very soon Parliament will become redundant. The way the Congress conducted itself was highly condemnable. The Congress party has also lost all its vision.

“It is a new situation. A right-wing, fascist party has captured power. There are increased attacks on democratic and constitutional rights, people do not feel secure and mob lynchings have become the order of the day. In this situation, how can the Congress party side with such a draconian law,” Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja said.

The UAPA Bill, that seeks to amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, was passed by the Rajya Sabha with 147 votes in favour of and 42 against it. Along with the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) also supported the bill in the Upper House of Parliament.