fifty years ago May 4, 1968 Comment

No plan to ban any communal party

The Union Home Minister, Mr. Y.B. Chavan, assured the Lok Sabha to-day [May 3, New Delhi] that if it became necessary to ban any party to check communalism, the Government would not hesitate to do so. He, however, made it clear that at present there was no intention to ban any party. Mr. Chavan was replying to questions on elimination of communalism put by Mr. P.L. Berwa and others. The proceedings were marked by an exchange between the Jan Sangh and Communist members when Mr. Jyotirmoy Basu alleged that the Jan Sangh and the R.S.S were responsible for communal incidents. Mr. K.L. Gupta and later Mr. Balaraj Madhok, both Jan Sangh, repudiated the charge. The Speaker appealed to both sides not to make accusations against each other. Mr. Chavan did not think it feasible to ban parties having a communal nomenclature as suggested by Mr. P. Venkatasubbiah. He pointed out that it was easy for such parties to change their nomenclature without changing their policies. Replying to Mr. Madhu Limaye, Mr. Chavan said that he did not think it would be advisable to enlarge the scope of the Dayal Commission which was already inquiring into half a dozen communal incidents. As soon as the Commission submitted its report, its conclusions would be carefully studied in consultation with the State Governments. Meanwhile, he confirmed, he had called for a conference of Chief Ministers later this month to discuss communalism and the problem of Harijans.

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