The Congress party yesterday demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah following his “colossal failure” in controlling violence in north-east Delhi.
“What has happened in Delhi is a colossal failure of duty for which the entire responsibility must be borne by the central government, particularly the home minister,” party chief Sonia Gandhi said in a statement after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee.
Demanding Shah’s immediate resignation, she also blamed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the situation.
“The chief minister and the Delhi government are equally responsible for not activating the administration to reach out to the people to maintain peace and harmony,” the statement said.
“It is the collective failure of the two governments that has resulted in a great tragedy in the capital city which threatens to become worse by the day,” it said.
“The tragic events since last Sunday have a history, design and pattern. It was evident even during the Delhi elections. Several leaders of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) made inflammatory statements clearly intended to create an atmosphere of fear and hate. The last of these statements were made on Sunday, when a BJP leader gave an ultimatum of three days to the Delhi police,” the statement said.
The Congress said it was gravely concerned over the unprecedented violence and loss of lives, and the deteriorating situation in the national capital.
Gandhi said since 2014 no all-party meeting has been called, which is “shocking”.
The BJP was quick to hit back calling the demand for Shah’s resignation ‘laughable’.
Bringing back the issue of 1984 anti-Sikh riot, federal Environment Minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said the Congress itself has blood on its hands.
“Those whose hands are drenched with blood in massacre of Sikhs are talking of success or failure in stopping violence,” he said.
Defending the home minister, Javadekar said: “The Congress is asking where was Amit Shah? He took a meeting of all the parties yesterday, in which the leaders of the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) as well as the Congress were present.”
Javadekar added that such comments by the Congress leadership will only demoralise the police force.
In an indirect dig at the Congress and the AAP, Javadekar said: “We believe that the police investigation will reveal the truth about who arranged the stones, who opened fire, who set vehicles ablaze and who is instigating the people for the last two months.”
It was so subtle reference to the Shaheen Bagh protest against the new citizenship law.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also lashed out at Gandhi.
“Tension in Delhi should end. Many people are spreading violence here. At a time when Delhi is returning to peace, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s remark is untimely. When peace is required then there should be no politics,” Prasad said.
“I condemn this statement of Sonia Gandhi.”
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