Tuesday, March 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Allies seek ban on Bajrang Dal, VHP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 18
A surprise attack from the unexpected quarters today caught the Vajpayee government napping in the Lok Sabha when partners of the ruling National Democratic Alliance demanded a ban on the Bajrang Dal and the VHP for their role in the dastardly attack on the Orissa Assembly building.

The organisations came under a frontal attack during Zero Hour when the NDA MPs raised accusing fingers on them for their complicity in the incident.

Samata Party MP Prabhunath Singh urged the Home Minister to invoke the provisions of POTO to put behind bars the culprits involved in the attack. “Why do you have POTO in the statute book if it cannot be used against such organisations,” he asked leaving the BJP members squirming in their seats.

Questioning the Hindutva philosophy of the BJP, Janata Dal (U) MP Devendra Prasad Yadav said history did not belong to Hindus or Muslims but to the country as a whole and that no one should take it in their hands to implement agendas.

Expressing concern over the incident, Mr Yadav said, “Fundam-entalism in any form should not be allowed in the country and organisations like the Bajrang Dal and the VHP should be banned.”

Telugu Desam Party leader K. Yerran Naidu initiated the attack on the organisations. Describing the incident as shameful, he demanded action against the culprits involved in the attack.

While we blame the terrorists for the attack on Parliament House and Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, the role of the VHP cannot be absolved in the Orissa Assembly incident, Mr Naidu pointed out.

Describing the attack on the Assembly building as an act of hooliganism and vandalism, MDMK leader Vaiko demanded that the government should not hesitate to put the culprits behind bars. Similar sentiments were echoed by DMK member S. Palanimanickam and Mr Brahma Nand Mandal (JD-U).

The Shiv Sena also joined the condemnation when its member Anand Geethe said no party could support such acts. He, however, took exception to the comparison that the Opposition made with the attack on Parliament which was carried out by forces from across the border.

The Opposition attack was led by Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar (SJP-R) who maintained such incidents posed a threat to the unity and integrity of the country. Mr Yadav also referred to RSS’s reported assertions in Bangalore that Muslims have to cooperate with the majority community if there is to be peace and amity in the country and said such statements smack of fascist traits.Back

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