New Delhi: Appealing for “peace and harmony”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said it was “important that there was calm and normality was restored at the earliest”, as over 20 people lost their lives and many got injured in the northeast Delhi riots over the amended citizenship law. As the Congress blamed the Narendra Modi government for its “colossal failure” to check the violence and demanded home minister Amit Shah’s resignation, the BJP hit back at the Opposition party and its president Sonia Gandhi, remiding them of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, when the Congress was in power at the Centre, and said “those whose hands are tainted with the blood of innocent Sikhs are now talking about checking violence”. The ruling party termed the demand for Mr Shah’s resignation as “laughable” and accused the Congress of “politicising violence”.
“Peace and harmony are central to our ethos. I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times. It is important that there is
calm and normalcy is restored at the earliest... Had an extensive review on the situation prevailing in various parts of Delhi. The police and other agencies are working on the ground to ensure peace,” Mr Modi tweeted.
Hitting back at the Congress and its demand for home minister Amit Shah’s resignation, I&B minister Prakash Javadekar said Mr Shah was continuously working with the police to control the situation, and demanding his resignation was “laughable”.
“The home minister is continuously working with the police, helping their morale and directing them. Such comments and politics from the Congress will not help the morale of the police. We appeal to them to not do politics on the issue,” said Mr Javadekar, adding that the home minister had called a meeting of all political parties, including the Congress, over the communal violence in Delhi and said it was the responsibility of all parties to help maintain peace.
Urging all parties to cooperate and work for peace at a time when the violence was abating, Mr Javadekar said: “At such a time, attacking the government and politicising violence is dirty politics”, saying it will also demoralise the police.
Referring to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the minister said: “Those whose hands are tainted with the blood of innocent Sikhs in 1984 are now talking about checking violence... They themselves had supported the violence.”
Attacking Mrs Gandhi, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said her statement was “full of politics” and dubbed it “unfortunate and irresponsible”. He added: “The need of the hour is for everybody to talk about restoring peace. The home minister had called a meeting of all parties. An inquiry will find out the culprits.”