The Centre told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had been initiated into the Assam violence.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s reply to a debate on the recent violence didn’t pacify the Opposition, which felt this was an insignificant addition to Wednesday’s statement in the Lok Sabha, during which he had mentioned stepped-up vigil by the security forces, including the Army, and rehabilitation measures for the displaced, as the core focus areas for the government to contain and redress the endemic violence in three districts of Assam.
“What kind of a reply is this? Why are you wasting the House’s time?” Samajwadi Party’s Kiranmoy Nanda was heard exclaiming.
Against an unrelenting Opposition, Mr. Shinde said, “I have instructed the Army to be on the alert. What else do you want?” He also mentioned the measures taken by the government to provide relief and rehabilitation.
The debate was initiated by Mr. Jaitley, who was joined by his party’s Ravi Shankar Prasad in accusing the government of pursuing ‘vote bank’ politics, which had led to the violence in Kokrajhar and two other districts of Assam, and urging that this approach be reviewed.
“If you adopt the original line of Gopinath Bordoloi [Assam’s first Chief Minister] who wanted the cultural and linguistic identity of the North-East to be maintained, India will be safe in your hands. But if you adopt vote bank politics, I don’t think this region is safe in your hands,” said Mr. Jaitley.
“The Congress leadership, at the time of Partition, was fully conscious of the North-East, and rightly so, that its identity has to be maintained.
“Unfortunately, somewhere post-Independence, the line that the Congress took before Partition was altered by the subsequent people in the party.”