The Opposition in Lok Sabha on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah for failing to contain the violence in Delhi for nearly three days, even as the Bharatiya Janata Party accused the Opposition of politicising the situation to further its narrow interests.
As the government came under attack from the Opposition during the debate on the recent communal riots in the national capital that have claimed over 50 lives, the BJP members alleged that the violence was a pre-planned conspiracy and the home minister and authorities took pro-active steps to control the situation.
The ruling party said evidence show that stones and petrol bombs were stored in huge quantity to fuel the violence.
Initiating the discussion on "recent law and order situation in some parts of Delhi", Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wondered how the violence continued for three days despite the fact that Delhi Police is one of the best equipped in the country.
"The Home Minister (Amit Shah) will have to explain," he said.
Hitting out at the prime minister, he said, Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
When Delhi was witnessing violence, Modi was hosting United States President Donald Trump in Ahmedabad, the Congress leader said.
Chowdhury said while some claimed Hindus won, the others said Muslims won in the violence. "The fact is that humanity was defeated," he said.
He said the situation came under control soon after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visited the violence-hit areas.
"Why could not the home minister go... NSA reports to the prime minister. Does this mean that the Prime Minister's Office had lost faith in the home ministry," Chowdhury said hitting out at Shah.
Chowdhury alleged that Delhi high court judge S Murlidhar was transferred out as he had questioned the failure of the Delhi Police in containing the violence.
He said the "midnight" notification was aimed at preventing adverse strictures against the government.
Nishikant Dubey of the BJP said the transfer was recommended by the Supreme Court collegium and the government had nothing to do with it.
Chowdhury sought the resignation of Shah, a demand echoed by Trinamool Congress's Saugata Roy and N K Premchandran of Revolutionary Socialist Party.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi said there is a "tsunami of Hindutva hate" and called for an impartial probe to find the perpetrators of the violence.
Some of his remarks evoked sharp response from the Treasury benches, with at least two Union ministers -- Ravi Shankar Prasad and Kishan Reddy -- registering their protests.
Speaker Om Birla also expunged certain remarks made by Owaisi.
BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi alleged that some people are taking political benefit out of the incidents of violence.
Referring to the killing of Intelligence Bureau officer Ankit Sharma during the riots, she said 400 wounds were found on his body.
"What kind of hatred was this... we should discuss that also," she said, adding the riots were pre-planned.
She also alleged that stones and catapults were found in the house of an Aam Aadmi Party councillor and hate speeches were given by an MLA of the party.
"Every tenth home had catapults, which were used in the riots," she added.
Danish Ali of the Bahujan Samaj Party demanded that certain remarks of Lekhi be expunged.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said members should not take the names of any religion in the debate. Birla expunged certain names taken by Lekhi and asked her not to name people.
Lekhi said that the government acted pro-actively and riots were controlled within 36 hours.
She also said that the allegations of hate speeches on Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma were not relevant as the riots started on February 23. She added that it was wrong to blame BJP leader Kapil Mishra for the riots.
She alleged that after the speech of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi at Ramlila maidan, people started gathering. Similar speeches were given by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi as well, Lekhi said.
"For three months, people are sitting on roads," she said referring to people protesting at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
She added that work to instigate people and propagate extremism was going on since long.
"This government wants to do the politics of development," she said, adding the government is providing house, power connection and cylinders to people not on the basis of religion.
"Why is the opposition is spreading rumours," she said.
She said that the current government "violated the no go zone" and acted on repeal of Article 370 and triple talaq.
She said that opposition members of the House understand the CAA law but are "continuously misleading the people".
Citing certain data on riots, Lekhi said during 1950 to 1964, as many as 243 riots are documented. When Indira Gandhi was PM, 337 riots happened during 1966 to 1977 and 1980 and 1984.
Similarly, when Rajiv Gandhi was PM, 291 riots occurred during 1984 and 1989.
Out of 1094 riots, 871 happened during Congress regime, which was 73 per cent, she added. "Eighteen big riots happened during Congress regime," she added.
She said that opposition is taking about one riot in Gujarat and they should know that no riots happened in that state after 2002.
She said that the people of Delhi must be feeling guilty as after voting a government which gave free power and water they are now facing such incidents.
She said Doval visited the areas hit by riots as he is in-charge of the security of the country.
On the allegation that Home Minister Amit Shah did not act, she listed out meetings of the home minister with officers to assess the situation.
T R Baalu of the Dravida Munnetra Kazagham said that the Delhi riots and the law and order situation of the national capital were discussed in parliaments of the United Kingdom, Iran, Indonesia, Turkey and Malaysia.
These countries "are making fun of us", he said.
These all countries have raised concerns over the CAA, he said adding today was the 88th day of protest at Shaheen Bagh "without any problem".
The protest was happening silently and peacefully there because that are managed by minorities, he said.
Baalu said that "what went wrong" as over 50 people were killed in the Delhi violence.
He said that although Delhi Police is efficient in managing the issues, "why all went wrong" on those days. "The inaction of the police has been advised by the administration," he said.
He also alleged that ABVP is the root cause of the incidents at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in December last year.
He also said that BJP leader Kapil Mishra's "hate speeches" led to these riots.
Tejasvi Surya of BJP alleged that while there wasn't anything anti-Muslim in CAA, the anti-CAA protests had "a lot of anti-Hindu" feelings.