Under fire from an angry Opposition for its failure to stop attacks on north Indians in Maharashtra, the Centre on Tuesday told the Rajya Sabha it issued three advisories to the state in last three days to ensure the safety of people.
A heated debate played out at Zero Hour. Later, Opposition members walked out after the discussion, not satisfied with Home Minister Shivraj Patil’s reply.
Patil had said: “We issued three advisories to the state on 19th, 20th and 21st (today). We have have expressed our anguish and anger. Anyone from any part of the country can work and live anywhere.”
On persistent queries whether the advisories were issued under Article 355 of the Constitution, which allows central intervention in a disturbed area of any state, Patil replied: “In advisories to the state, we do not specify the Article.”
Earlier, raising the issue, CPM’s Brinda Karat said Maharashtra played politics on the issue, rather than taking strict action against Raj Thackeray.
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said: “Either the Centre and Maharashtra governments should stop attacks or quit. Govern or get out.”
BJP leader Yashwant Sinha charged the government with allowing “an agitation based on hatred” to spread.
The only one to speak in a different voice was Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi. Trying to score a point over Raj on Maratha pride, he said such agitations would continue till Marathas were given due representation in government jobs.