The Rajasthan government has decided to enact laws to curb incidents of mob lynching and honour killing, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told the state assembly Tuesday. Gehlot made the announcement while replying to a debate on the state budget in the assembly. Expressing concern over the rising incidents of mob lynching, Gehlot said his government will soon enact a law on the pattern of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to curb incidents of mob lynching. Recently, the Uttar Pradesh Law Commission framed a draft legislation to combat mob lynching.
The Congress-led Madhya Pradesh also reportedly plans a similar law. In July last year, the Supreme Court had urged Parliament to consider enacting a new law to tackle incidents of lynching. A few months later, the Manipur Assembly passed a Bill against mob violence. The previous BJP government in the state had drawn flak after the 2017 killing of Pehlu Khan over alleged cow smuggling by a mob in Alwar district. The chief minister said a strict law to curb incidents of honour killing too will be enacted.
Referring to the recent murder of a newly-wed couple in Sirohi district, Gehlot said family members may not accept the inter-faith or inter-caste marriages of their children, but “what right do they have to kill?” Expressing concern on cases of rape, Gehlot said nearly 26,000 such cases were reported during the last six months in the country. “It is alarming,” he said, and urged MLAs cutting across party lines to take initiative to spread awareness among people on women safety.
During his reply, Gehlot also announced the government’s decision to open 25 new colleges, besides two new agriculture colleges. He said his government will also take strict action against adulteration and build new townhalls in seven districts of the state, besides creating a new police district in Alwar. Accusing the BJP of tarnishing the image of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Gehlot said, “Those who distort history will not be able to make history even if they get a big post.”
Gehlot told the House that his government has decided to set up an e-library dedicated to Nehru to help students access e-books on his life and times. The e-library will be set up at cost of Rs 10 crore here, he added. He said the BJP won elections in the name of religion and nationalism but it will not be able to make history. Referring to a slogan ‘Modi tujshe bair nahi, Vasundhra teri khair nahi’, allegedly raised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Jhunjhunu before the last assembly elections in the state, Gehlot said the BJP’s ouster from the state was decided that day.
Referring to Modi’s counsel to party leaders for “shunning arrogance” in the wake of the BJP’s Indore MLA attacking a municipal official with a cricket bat, Gehlot said the prime minister’s “tone and tenor of talking has changed” after winning elections for a second term.
The chief minister also took on the previous BJP government for allegedly stalling schemes started by the earlier Congress government in the state and said his government would not discontinue the previous government’s schemes which are in the interest of public. He said after its last term, his government had left the state exchequer with a revenue surplus of Rs 3,451 crore in 2012-13 but the previous BJP government has left a revenue deficit of Rs 29,000 crore.
Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria earlier targeted the state government. He said the farmers did not get any advantage of the state government’s loan waiver scheme. He also questioned the budget allocation for various programmes.