Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha witnessed uproarious scenes over the attacks on north Indian railway job aspirants in Mumbai by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists on Sunday, with several political parties criticising the Centre and the State government for “failing” to take action. The House was disrupted repeatedly and finally adjourned for the day.

Members of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party demanded a ban on the MNS and the Centre’s intervention under Article 355 to ensure the safety of life and property of north Indians in Maharashtra.

However, while criticising the attacks, members from the Shiv Sena and the Biju Janata Dal said a ‘parochial’ system of recruitment adopted by the railways had led to this situation, and if not corrected immediately would lead to similar protests from other parts of the country as well.

Raising the matter, Devendra Prasad Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal said there was a sense of insecurity among the north Indians following these attacks, particularly because such incidents had been happening off and on. These fundamentalist groups were bent upon dividing the country on the basis of language and region, he said, adding that the State government had failed to prevent such attacks and sought the Centre’s intervention in banning the organisation.

Ramji Lal Suman of the Samajwadi Party said it was condemnable that people from U.P. and Bihar were being targeted in Maharashtra and Assam. Demanding action against the MNS leaders, Shahnawaz Hussain of the Bharatiya Janata Party said the organisation was active only because the Centre and State government were ineffective in dealing with it.

Calling MNS leader Raj Thackeray a “mentally challenged individual,” Rajiv Ranjan Singh of the Janata Dal (United) said his actions threatened the unity of the country.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Mohd Salim of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) who said the State government was too busy providing security to Mr. Thackeray rather than taking action against him. Gurudas Dasgupta of the Communist Party of India accused the MNS of playing “dirty politics.”

While condemning the attacks, Ananth Geete of the Shiv Sena said it was important to look into the root of the problem that evoked such actions.

“Faulty recruitment”

He said the system of recruitment adopted by the Railway board was faulty and needed to be corrected urgently. He pointed out that the problem did not arise when there was recruitment for nationalised banks and insurance companies because their system was fair and transparent.

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