Congress chief Sonia Gandhi talking to reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi talking to reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.

Sonia seeks removal of Home Minister, urges President ask government to protect 'raj dharma'

ANI | Updated: Feb 27, 2020 17:29 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 27 (ANI): Congress leaders including party chief Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met President Ram Nath Kovind here on Thursday and sought the removal of Home Minister Amit Shah over Delhi violence, alleging that he "abdicated his duty" and "allowed the situation to escalate through inaction".
The party leaders urged the President to use his powers to ask the central government to protect "raj dharma" so that people were assured of peace tranquillity and justice.
In its memorandum, submitted to the President, the party also attacked the Kejriwal government, saying that instead of taking active steps to remedy or diffuse the situation it has remained a mute spectator.
"The central government as also the newly-elected Delhi government, have remained mute spectators as completely mindless rage, designed violence and organised looting of the property has continued unabated," the memorandum said.
Interacting with the media later, Gandhi said the Congress Working Committee met on Wednesday over the grave situation in parts of North-East Delhi and decided to meet the President.
"Due to the complete inaction on the part of the Home Minister and the Central Government, the violence has claimed the lives of at least 34 people and over 200 have been injured at last count. Several crores worth of properties and business have fallen prey to unchecked arson and looting," she said reading from the memorandum.
Gandhi said the President has been given the highest possible responsibility under the Constitution to act as the conscience-keeper of the government and to remind it of its constitutional duty, by which any just government must abide.
"We call upon you and the constitutional office you hold, that the life, liberty and property of the citizens are preserved, secured and protected. We also reiterate that you should immediately call for the removal of Home Minister given the gross ineptitude, abdication of duty and his inability to contain the situation. We owe this to the citizens who have lost their loved ones, their homes, their livelihood and most of all their long-cherished amity and brotherhood. We hope you will take decisive action in the matter," she said.
Interacting with the media, Dr Manmohan Singh said they told the President that what is happening in the last four days in the national capital "is a matter of deep concern and also a matter of national shame".
He said the violence was a reflection "on the total failure of the Central Government to control the situation."
"We requested the President to use his power to call upon the central government to protect and preserve raj dharma so that the citizens of the country and national capital are assured of peace, tranquillity and justice," he said.
Congress leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kumari Selja and Mallikarjun Kharge were part of Congress delegation.
The party said unprecedented violence, arson, looting, stone-pelting, and brutal murders had taken place in the national capital over the last four days.
Referring to the strength of the police deployed on the night of Sunday, the party said there were clear indications that violence will intensify further and "forces on the ground were clearly inadequate to quell the situation".
"Why were additional security forces not deployed immediately by the Home Minister when it was clear that the situation was beyond the control of the Delhi Police?" the party asked.
It accused Shah of "abjectly failing in the performance of his primary and principal duties".
Referring to the Delhi High Court directions to file FIRs against those who made "hate speeches", the party said the court had to step in and remind the Home Ministry and the Police of their principal duty to act against instigators, the rioters and those engaging in the acts of targeted violence.
"This is a shameful indictment of the Central Government, the Home Ministry, and the Home Minister," the party alleged.
The Congress alleged that the seeds of this division have been sown "by deliberately made inflammatory remarks of BJP leaders in the run-up to (and even after) the Delhi elections".
It also alleged there "was a calculated design to foment hate and division among people".
"It is how the leaders and institutions of a country react in times of crisis that defines how we are remembered by history and the rest of the world. We cannot be found wanting in this hour where certain groups seek to divide the people of our great nation for their parochial and petty gains," the memorandum said. (ANI)