Reacting sharply to the approval of the communal violence (prevention) Bill by the Union Cabinet, BJP today termed it as a "serious encroachment" on the federal structure of the country.
"It is a serious encroachment on the federal structure of the country," Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told reporters. Saying that since law and order was a state subject, he had "serious doubts about the legislative competence of Parliament on a subject which deals with law and order".
According to Jaitley, since the party had little details about the Bill, it would provide a detailed reaction at a later date.
A senior party leader said the government will find it difficult to pass the Bill in Rajya Sabha due to lack of numbers. "Parties which are in power in various states will definitely oppose it," the BJP leader said.
The Union Cabinet had last night cleared the re-drafted Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of victims) Bill to check communal violence. Among other things, the proposed measure provides for enabling the Centre to declare an area in a state as communally disturbed on its own and send central security forces without the state's request. This was based on the recommendation of the Administrative Reforms Committee.
Besides, the Bill provides for transfer of cases outside the state concerned for trial and take steps to protect witnesses.