With 5 questions, Sonia Gandhi launches sharp attack at Centre and demanded immediate resignation of Union home minister Amit Shah for “colossal failure” to restore normalcy
The Congress on Wednesday said Union Home Minister Amit Shah must take responsibility for violence in Delhi and demanded immediate resignation for "colossal failure" to restore normalcy.
The Congress has blamed both the Centre and the Delhi government for the violence in the national capital, Mrs Gandhi said at a press conference at the Congress headquarters in the capital, reported Hindustan Times.
The Congress president also posed five questions for Centre:
"Number 1: where was the Home Minister since Sunday and what was he doing?
Number 2: where was the Delhi chief minuster and what was he doing?
Number 3: what information was shared by intelligence officials after Assembly polls and what action was taken on that?
Number 4: tell us about the number of policemen deployed in troubled areas when it was clear that situation was deteriorating,
Number 5: when the situation went out of hand, why wasn't the paramilitary force deployed?" said Gandhi in her first press conference in many years.
"It is the collective failure of the two governments that have resulted in a great tragedy in the capital city which threatens to become worse by the day," the Congress Working Committee (CWC) said in a resolution adopted at its meeting held at the party headquarters in Delhi.
"After reviewing the situation, the CWC is of the firm opinion that what has happened in Delhi is a colossal failure of duty for which the entire responsibility must be borne by the central government and particularly the home minister and we call upon the Home Minister to tender his resignation immediately," it said.
The meeting, chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, was also attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior leaders AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia among others. However, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was not present as he is currently abroad.
The CWC blamed some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for giving provocative speeches during Delhi elections and in the past few days.
"The tragic events since last Sunday have a history, design and a pattern. It was evident even during the Delhi elections. Several leaders of the BJP made inflammatory statements clearly intended to create an atmosphere of fear and hate. The last of these statements was made on Sunday, when a BJP leader gave an ultimatum of three days to the Delhi police and warned that 'after three days don't tell us anything'."
The resolution further said, "The Delhi Police has remained paralysed in the last 72 hours- 18 lives have been lost so far, including a head constable, and hundreds are in hospital, many with gunshot injuries."
The CWC also posed six questions to the government. "What were the reports given by the intelligence agencies in the days immediately after the conclusion of the Delhi elections and leading up to today? Was the violence spontaneous as claimed by the MHA or instigated as claimed by MoS Home? What was the strength of the police force deployed on the night of Sunday when there were clear indications that violence will break out?" it asked.
"Why were additional security forces not called immediately when it was clear that the situation was beyond the control of the Delhi police? Where was the Home Minister and what was he doing since last Sunday? Where was the Chief Minister of Delhi and what was he doing since last Sunday?"
The resolution termed the situation grave and sought urgent action, including asking the Delhi chief minister to remain visible in the affected areas and in constant communication with the people.
"Adequate security forces must be deployed immediately to bring the situation under control. Peace committees must be formed in every mohalla consisting of members of all communities to ensure that there are no untoward incidents. Senior civil servants must be deployed in each district to take charge of the administration to ensure that the administrative machinery responds to the evolving situation," it said.
The opposition party appealed to the people of Delhi to reject the politics of hate and do their best in healing the rifts caused by these shameful events, to help rebuild all that has been lost and to ensure that such events do not take place ever again.
The CWC called upon all Congress workers and leaders to visit the affected areas, to extend all possible support to the families of those who have suffered as a consequence of the violence and to help build bridges between communities. "This would be the most fitting tribute to Mother India," it added.
The death toll in the violence in Northeast Delhi violence that began on Monday has risen to 20. Among the dead was a policeman. More than 250 people have been injured in the clashes.
The worst clashes in the capital in over two decades started at the weekend but turned deadly on Monday after two groups supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA clashed with those opposing the law. The warring torched houses and vehicles in Maujpur, Jafrabad and other areas.