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Mah riots rock LS: Cong, BJP heated exchanges

New Delhi, Jan 3 (UNI) The Lok Sabha on Wednesday witnessed heated exchanges between the Opposition and the treasury benches when Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge made a blistering attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party regimes both at the Centre and in Maharashtra for the violence that rocked the streets of the western state and demanded a probe into the entire episode by a sitting Supreme Court judge.
Raising the issue of 'caste violence' during Zero Hour, the Congress floor leader said the ongoing violence in the western state was a "matter of concern" as there has been increase in bloodshed and atrocities against Dalits both in "rural and urban" parts of the country.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned for about 10 minutes following disruption caused by Congress members and others over violence in Pune and other parts of Maharashtra.
At one point, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar strongly countered Mr Kharge's allegations and said that the principal opposition party was "demoralised" following its defeat in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and was thus "spreading falsehoods.''
Mr Kharge's remarks that anti-Dalit atrocities were on the rise in all BJP-ruled states provoked angry protests from Kirit Sompaiya, Prahlad Patil and other party members.
"What happened on January 1 is unfortunate, we are to find out who instigated this violence," Mr Kharge said and insisted that there should be a judicial probe into the entire episode by a sitting apex court judge.
Mr Kharge's remarks against "fascist forces" and a popular organisation provoked angry protests
from the treasury benches. He charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi with remaining "silent" whenever such violence takes place.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister asserted that Mr Modi is providing able leadership to the country under the cherished theme of 'Sabka saath sabka vikas'. "Instead the Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Mr Kharge are only trying to provoke violence and divide the society," he alleged.
"Once upon a time the Britishers indulged in divide and rule the Congress party is doing the same," Mr Kumar said, amid noisy scenes in the House of the People.
Allowing to raise the issue of recent violence in Maharashtra, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan counselled members to "apply restraint" as it was a sensitive subject.
"We are all responsible representatives of the people and that is why with folded hands, I can only request you so that we remember our role," she said.
The Speaker's counsel was unheeded as soon after the issue was being debated, tempers flared and members from both sides hurled allegations and counter allegations.
Speaking on the issue, Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy also blamed the Maharashtra government for its failure to control the violence.
Shiv Sena's Shivaji Adhalrao Patil also said that the police could not control the situation in the state.
Raosaheb Dhanve Patil, Jalna BJP MP, flayed opposition Congress and said there were no riots in Maharashtra during the past three years.
"But some people who want to disturb development have started inciting violence," he said.
Marxist members, led by Mohammed Salim, were also seen trying to register their protest.
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