The Union Cabinet on Monday night cleared the anti-communal violence bill with a few amendments, making it community neutral and addressing the issue of direct Central interference to avoid a clash with state governments. Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government will try to table the bill in Parliament on Tuesday.
The original draft bill prepared by the National Advisory Committee (NAC) over a year ago to instill confidence in the minority community was tweaked to accommodate the BJP’s primary objection that the bill put the onus of riots on the majority community.
The powers of intervention of the Centre in the event of riots have also been diluted in the revised bill as a result of which the Union government will not have any perceived overriding powers anywhere
The decision to push the Bill in Parliament, no matter even if it cannot be passed in the current session for want of time, was taken in a meeting of the core group of the Congress headed by Sonia Gandhi and attended by prime minister Manmohan Singh, defence minister AK Antony, finance minister P Chidambaram and home minister Sushilkumar Shinde earlier during the day.
A source in Congress said, that the party fearing about the flight of Muslim votes wanted to give a political message that the party cares for them.