- Delhi riots to be discussed after Holi, Speaker Om Birla had said
- Home Minister Amit Shah to reply to the discussion
- 7 Congress MPs were suspended after ruckus in parliament
Parliament will discuss last week's Delhi violence on March 11, a day after Holi, with Union Home Minister Amit Shah scheduled to reply, it was revealed today. Under pressure this week by the opposition to hold a debate on the sensitive issue, the government had refused to do so till after Holi, with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla arguing that the time was not right.
It has now agreed to a short-duration discussion that will see no voting on the subject.
"We hope that the opposition will participate in the debate without interrupting the House as it was their demand to hold the discussion. Now the normalcy has returned to Delhi, we have no issues in participating in it," Pralhad Joshi, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, was quoted by news agency IANS.
Confirmation of the date of discussion, first advanced by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday, comes after seven Congress MPs were suspended, till the end of the budget session (April 3), for creating a ruckus in the house.
One of the Congress MPs who has been suspended - Gaurav Gogoi - hit back, saying: "The government is talking about a debate post-Holi. But will the families who have lost near and dear ones be able to celebrate Holi? What will happen to the family of the police officer who lost his life?"
Opposition MPs had served notices in both houses of parliament demanding a discussion on violence over the citizenship law that scarred parts of northeast Delhi for four days.
More than 50 people were killed, hundreds injured and scores of homes, shops and schools were vandalised and set ablaze by armed goons who spread terror.
As the government declined to hold a discussion on the violence, the opposition's demand led to a tug-of-war ensuring repeated adjournments in both houses, allowing little time for any other business since parliament reconvened for the second half of the budget session.
On Thursday, the Lok Sabha Speaker's decision to postpone any discussion till after Holi enraged members, some of whom throw paper balls and leaflets at the Chair.
A day before sloganeering and disturbances caused by opposition MPs led to the Lok Sabha being adjourned thrice. Some members were seen waving posters that called for the resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
Matters deteriorated in the Lok Sabha after a scuffle between Congress and BJP MPs.
Protests were also lodged in the Rajya Sabha, where the Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Leader of the Opposition, said the centre had "slept" as violence rocked Delhi.
Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu said the matter was "definitely important and deserves to be discussed" and that he would allot time for a discussion.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court will today hear petitions filed in connection with the violence; some of these are seeking action against BJP leaders whose speeches have been accused of inciting and perpetrating the violent attacks.
The hearing was ordered by the Supreme Court, which, on Wednesday, expressed disapproval over the High Court's long adjournment of the matter.
Hate speeches by BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma, Anurag Thakur and Abhay Verma were seen as having a key role in the four-day mayhem.