The Congress on Thursday urged President Ram Nath Kovind to immediately call for the removal of Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his “inability” to contain the violent clashes that began in Delhi on Sunday evening. A party delegation, led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, submitted a memorandum to Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“We call upon you [Kovind] to ensure that life, liberty and property of citizens are preserved,” Gandhi said after leaving the Rashtrapati Bhavan, according to ANI. “We also reiterate that you should immediately call for the removal of the Home Minister for his inability to contain violence.”
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was part of the delegation, said the party urged Kovind to use his power to protect “rajdharma”. “Rajdharma”, or “duty of a leader”, was a Hindi word famously used by former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee to ask then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is now the prime minister, to act during the 2002 riots in the state.
The memorandum also hit out at the Centre, the Delhi government, and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying they did not take “active steps to remedy or diffuse the situation”. “...the Central Government as also the newly elected Delhi Government, have remained mute spectators as completely mindless rage, designed violence and organised looting of property has continued unabated,” it read, according to The Indian Express.
The party raised three questions in its memorandum, asking what the home minister was dealing with when the violence broke out. The Congress questioned if the home ministry failed to act on information provided that may have prevent the escalation of violence. It further asked the strength of the police force deployed to control the violence and why additional security were not deployed immediately after the situation was beying Delhi Police’s control.
Singh said the violence was a “reflection on total failure of central government”. Gandhi said the party was fairly satisfied as Kovind had told her he would take cognisance of the demands, PTI reported.
The number of casualties as a result of large-scale mob violence in Delhi, much of it directed at Muslims, climbed to 34 on Thursday morning. More reports of arson and unrest poured in from North East Delhi’s Bhajanpura, Maujpur and Karawal Nagar areas late on Wednesday, hours after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval took charge of the security situation and attempted to establish order in the affected areas.
Congress and AAP ‘politicising’ violence in Delhi: BJP
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party accused the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party of “politicising” the violence in Delhi. Addressing a press conference, Union minister Prakash Javadekar asked why the parties were silent on the attack on the policemen and on the death of an Intelligence Bureau officer.
“In such a situation, the duty of all political parties should be to consolidate peace,” the BJP leader said.
Javadekar attacked Kejriwal for identifying the victims of the violence by their religion in the Assembly on Wednesday. He alleged that attempts to instigate violence had been made for the last two months since Sonia Gandhi gave the call for “fight to the finish” at a rally.
He said Sonia Gandhi’s demand for Amit Shah’s resignation is “petty politics”.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh General Secretary Suresh Joshi said nobody has right to take the law into their hands and that the Centre must restore normalcy in Delhi. “The government should establish peace in areas where there is ‘ashanti’ [unrest],” Joshi said.