Participating in the National Integration Council (NIC) meeting here today, the senior BJP Leader and the leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj said that the draft legislation may ‘encourage communalism rather than curbing it’.
CPIM leader, Sitaram Yechuri said, it is against the federal spirit of the country. Dinesh Trivedi, senior leader of Trinamool Congress, a key constituent of the UPA, said his party also opposes the Bill in the present form.
Chief Minister of Orissa, Naveen Patnaik see many objectionable provisions in the Bill that is not in tune with the federal structure of the country. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati whose speech was read out in absentia, said it is not the opportune moment to comment on the Bill. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar whose speech was read by the Minister representing the state in the meeting, voiced concern over certain provisions in the draft Bill.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said that the proposed legislation may undermine the country’s federal structure. Questioning the need for the Bill, Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal said, the Bill could lead to confrontation between the Centre and States.
Meanwhile six chief ministers on Saturday remained absent for the 15th meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC), which was presided over the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Apart from Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, the five other chief ministers who skipped the meeting were Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy, Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati.