Opposition parties attack govt over Delhi violence
New Delhi: Opposition parties on Wednesday launched a no-holds-barred attack on the government over violence in Northeast Delhi which has claimed at least 27 lives, with Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanding Home Minister Amit Shah's resignation and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury describing Delhi violence a "chilling reminder" of the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The Congress held a meeting of its working committee, party's highest decision-making body, on the situation in the national capital and passed a resolution, asserting that what has happened in Delhi "is a colossal failure of duty".
Later, the Congress leaders, including general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took out a peace march' from party office to the Gandhi Smriti on the Tees January Marg.
Speaking to the media after chairing the Congress Working Committee meeting, Gandhi alleged there was a "well-planned" conspiracy behind the violence, that has also led to injuries to more than 200 people over the past three days. She also urged the people of Delhi to "reject the politics of hate and do their best in healing the rifts caused by these shameful events". Attacking the government, Yechury in a joint press conference with CPI general secretary D Raja, alleged that it was clear that the violence in Delhi has the sanction of police and that of the "powers that govern them".
"Violence in Delhi is a chilling reminder of the communal genocide in Gujarat in 2002 when the current prime minister was the state chief minister," alleged Yechury.
Both Raja and Yechury questioned the role of Shah in dealing with the violence and blamed him for not being able to contain the situation.
"If the National Security Advisor is supposed to be in charge of Delhi Police, then what is the role of Home Minister? Has the government conceded that Home Minister Shah is incapable of handling Delhi violence," they asked. They said there is nothing spontaneous about the violence that claimed so many lives and left hundreds injured, and accused BJP leader Kapil Mishra of instigating it.
Mishra had earlier publicly called for forcible removal of protesters from various protest sites.
"Home Minister Shah has sought to evade the nature of the planned violence by calling it spontaneous. The only way confidence can be restored among the people and strict action taken against miscreants is to call in the army to aid the civilian authority," said Yechury.
The Left leaders also said that they will visit the violence-hit areas along with other political parties soon. Expressing its deep concern and anguish over the communal violence which has engulfed north east Delhi in the past three days, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau has demanded adequate compensation be paid to the families of all those who have lost their lives as well as to those injured in the violence.
"About 23 people have lost their lives and hundreds injured due to attacks by gangs of men who were bent upon creating communal clashes. That many of those who have died and were injured suffered gunshot wounds indicates the role of anti-social and criminal elements," the CPI(M) said in its official press note.
BSP president Mayawati on Wednesday condemned the violent clashes in Delhi and demanded a high-level inquiry into it.
"The loss of life and property in some areas of Delhi in incidents of violence, disturbance and arson in the past few days is very sad and very condemnable. The Central and Delhi governments should take it seriously and get a high-level inquiry conducted into it and take strict action against all the culprits and those who were negligent. This is the demand of the BSP," she said in a tweet in Hindi.
Congress leader P Chidambaram also said the violence in the national capital was a "colossal failure" of the Delhi Police and a culpable negligence of the city administration.
Chidambaram also asked why those who made inflammatory speeches have not yet been arrested or charged.
Meanwhile, Opposition leaders including Akhilesh Yadav, Sharad Yadav, Sitaram Yechury and D Raja and those from DMK and NCP have sought time from President Ram Nath Kovind to discuss the violence that has engulfed parts of northeast Delhi.
CPI(M) general secretary Yechury has written a letter to the President seeking appointment for the group of leaders.
"I am writing to you seeking an appointment to hear the views of leaders of various political parties represented in the Indian Parliament, on the very disturbing situation prevailing in the country's capital, Delhi.
"I, along with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India, D Raja, President of the Loktanthrik Janata Dal, Sharad Yadav, President of the Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav and prominent leaders of political parties like the DMK, NCP and others wish to seek an appointment with you at the earliest, preferably the 28th of February, 2020," the letter