The Opposition Wednesday held the government squarely responsible for the Delhi riots, with the Congress and other parties seeking the resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
“When Rome was burning, Nero was playing fiddle or flute on Palatine Hill and waiting to see the burning of the city in order to build one golden palace, Domus Aurea. It appears Nero has now arrived in India. When Delhi was burning, Nero was in Ahmedabad playing flute with President Donald Trump,” Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.
The Trinamool Congress’s Saugata Roy demanded a judicial inquiry into the riots, telling Shah, “Please acknowledge responsibility. In the name of god, go and do not stay in the Home Minister’s position… Otherwise, you will live the rest of your life with the stamp on your forehead that he is the man who could not prevent the riots in Delhi, at a place which is 10 km from the headquarters of the Home Ministry.”
AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi called the Delhi riots a pogrom, adding, “I would like to say that honourable Prime Minister Modi has this great distinction of presiding over two pogroms and this is the second one and he has deliberately failed in discharging his constitutional duty of saving life, limb and property of every Indian, especially Indian Muslims… Many inquiry commissions have said very clearly that if a communal carnage continues for more than 24 hours, it is a pre-planned pogrom wherein the State not only abets the mobs but it is police who play a major role in the destruction and carnage. To call it a communal riot is a joke.”
Chowdhury asked how riots could rage for three days in Delhi, the seat of political power in the country, when it had an elite force like the Delhi Police, with access to all kinds of weapons and technology, the Army, paramilitary forces and all important agencies. “Who will answer for it? The government will have to answer. The Home Minister will have to answer… Where were you for three days?” Chowdhury asked.
“What was your and your junior ministers’ responsibility during the Delhi riots?” he added. “Where were your strong Delhi MPs and MLAs? Was he singing Bhojpuri songs (Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari is a Bhojpuri star)? When elections come, you go door-to-door begging for votes. But when Delhi faces a crisis, you have no time to meet people. In the areas where riots happened, you did not get much votes. Is that why you did not feel the need to focus on them?” Chowdhury said.
“Ajit Doval showed how riots are controlled,” he added. “Why did the NSA have to come in? The NSA reports directly to the PMO. It means the PMO does not trust the HMO (Home Minister’s Office).”
The Congress leader also criticised the government over the transfer of Delhi High Court judge Justice S Murlidhar soon after he had passed interim orders against BJP leaders for alleged hate speeches, saying it was like a “midnight surgical strike on the judiciary”.
Saying Muslim dignity had been trampled upon during the riots, Owaisi told the government to fulfill its constitutional duties. “Do you have any humanity left in you? For God’s sake, show your humanity! This is not a question of Hindu or Muslim.”
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