NEW DELHI:Thetwin blasts in Hyderabad on Thursday evening rocked both Houses of parliament yesterday as the opposition took on the government and blamed it for intelligence failure leading to deaths of 16 persons.
Parliament was adjourned repeatedly through the day, first on account of non-arrival of federal home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who had gone to visit the blast site yesterday morning. However, when he read out his identical statements in both Houses, the opposition appeared unimpressed and took the government for its failure to prevent the incident despite advance information.
Terming Shinde’s statement, in which he reiterated government’s commitment to fight terrorism and that improvised explosive devices (IED) were used in the blasts, Sushma Swaraj, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, termed Shinde’s statement as routine.
“Even if the centre had not given any information, post-Afzal Guru’s hanging, there should have been an alert in Hyderabad anyway,” Swaraj said, and asked if the blasts were in any way connected to MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi’s hate speech. “Is the Owaisi hate speech related to this incident?” Swaraj questioned.
While Swaraj was allowed to speak after Shinde read out his statement, Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar did not allow leaders from various other opposition parties to speak on the issue, leading to ruckus in the House and its adjournment.
Shinde read out his speech in the Rajya Sabha amidst uproar. “The government is committed to combat such cowardly terrorist attacks,” Shinde said and vowed to ensure that the terrorists were punished.
“The situation is (now) under control,” he added.
Shinde explained the reason for not visiting Hyderabad on Thursday evening itself saying he did not want to distract the security and the investigation.
“If VIPs go there (blast sites) then police have to concentrate on securing the VIPs which is not right. VIPs should not be visiting the spot of such incidents, police should be given freedom to carry out investigation and gather evidences,” Shinde said.
Shinde sought support of the opposition in the fight against terror.
Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, cautioned the government amidst suggestions that government had advance intelligence inputs towards the impending blasts by saying there can be no lowering of guard since India appeared high on terror radar.
“There has to be cooperation between the centre and states on sharing intelligence. For the centre to think that it alone can create and manage a mechanism is not appropriate,” Jaitley added.