The opposition parties in the the Lok Sabha teamed up on Thursday to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government over hate crimes against Indians in the US reported over the last few days.
The Congress which led the charge attacked Modi with Mallikarjun Kharge charging him “tweeting on everything but being silent on this.” The government has “completely failed to secure Indians,” he said.
“The voluble, vocal and articulate PM is completely silent… Aren’t we going to take proper steps?” TMC’s Saugata Roy asked.
Opposition lawmakers demanded the government spell out in Parliament how it plans to deal with the issue and get the United States to make sure Indians are safe. Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured the house that the government would make a detailed statement in the House next week because External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is unwell.
Steps will be taken to ensure Indians abroad feel safe, Singh said in the lower house. In the recent weeks, at least two Indians have been killed and another injured in suspected cases of hate crime in the US.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had disallowed adjournment notices given by several opposition members to raise the issue but allowed it during zero hour.
Kharge said Modi is seen “hugging foreign leaders and sitting on a swing with
Chinese President Xi Jinping” but has not taken up such an important issue. Both Kharge and Roy said hate crimes have seen a rise since Donald Trump took over as the US President.
Bhartruhari Mahtab of the BJD said the government should come out with an advisory for Indian origin people living in the US, warning them about unsafe places in that country in the same way the US has put out a travel advisory, warning its citizens against visiting India. “When hatred is fuelled in the elections, it leads to hate crimes,” CPM’s Mohammed Salim said, describing the attacks on Indians as diplomatic and intelligence failures.