Shinde's terror camps remark: Will new laws for women pay the price?

The standoff between Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and the BJP over the former's comments over RSS camps being used to foster terrorism might claim an unlikely victim: the latest ordinance passed by the government to tackle sexual crimes against women.

After rallies to protest against the home minister's statement, the BJP yesterday said that it would bring up Shinde's comment in Parliament and would even consider boycotting him, a problem for the government given Shinde is the Leader of the House.

Accusing the Home Minister of insulting "the nation, its tradition and its culture" by alleging that RSS and BJP were involved in training terrorists, senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi has said they were considering boycotting him during the Budget session of Parliament.

 Shindes terror camps remark: Will new laws for women pay the price?

Cornered: Will Shinde apologise for his statement? PTI

Party president Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj have also already declared that they will raise the issue during the upcoming session of Parliament and have threatened to disrupt it. The BJP had also decided to boycott all meetings called before the session of Parliament called by Shinde.

However, the Economic Times has quoted an unnamed source as saying that the Home Minister may be forced to clarify on his comment given that the government has to get the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance converted into law by 17 March failing which the new measures will lapse.

After defending the urgency in bringing out an ordinance, the government is set to  introduce the bill to replace the ordinance on the first day of the session on 21 February and needs it to be passed within six weeks of the ordinance being passed, the report stated.

The President had signed the ordinance on 3 February. If the bill is moved, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde would need to answer queries from other MPs on it and would not be able to get a consensus on it if the biggest Opposition party chooses to boycott him.

However, even if the ordinance does not get converted into a law due to boycott by the BJP, it would give the Congress and UPA another chance to highlight their claim that all planned reforms and legislation were being blocked in Parliament by an unwavering opposition. As Firstpost had pointed out earlier, Shinde's remarks while seemingly ill thought out, could be part of a larger campaign to divide electorate on communal lines before the next general elections. Unfortunately, the first set of new laws to help tackle crimes against women may just become the first casualty of the political parties plans for the next elections.

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Updated Date: Feb 06, 2013 11:45:39 IST