In a stinging counter-attack on the Congress for raising the issue of “intolerance”, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday raked up the 1984 anti-Sikh riots saying it should hang its head in shame for the carnage instead of doing the “drama” of lecturing the NDA government.
“Today is November 2. Do you recall 1984? Lakhs of Sikhs were massacred in Delhi and across India on the second, third and fourth day of Indira Gandhi’s killing in which serious allegations were made against Congress and its leaders. Today, on the same day, Congress party is giving lecture on the issue of tolerance. ‘Doob maro, doob maro’ This does not behove you.
“The tears in the eyes of the Sikh victims have not yet dried. Their wounds have not healed and you are doing this ‘dramebaazi’ on November 2,” the Prime Minister said addressing an election rally in Seemanchal region of Purnea where the last phase of Bihar polls is due on November 5.
Congress spokesman Anand Sharma hit back by saying that when the riots against Sikhs broke out in 1984, the Congress-led government in power then had called in the army into Delhi. But when the Gujarat riots erupted in 2002, the state government under Modi stood by silently.
Not only did Modi fail in calling in the army, his men did everything to provoke violence, Sharma said.
“In 2002, the BJP government in Gujarat didn’t heed his own party’s Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s advice (then Prime Minister). He (Modi) should look into his own backyard before accusing others,” he said.
‘Modi, victim of intolerance’
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Sunday lashed out at the Congress, left-leaning thinkers and activists for trying to project India as an intolerant society.
“Since the Government led by Narendra Modi is trying to accelerate India’s growth, there are many who have never intellectually accepted the idea of the BJP being in power. This obviously includes the Congress, many left thinkers and activists. Over decades, they have practised ideological intolerance towards BJP. Since 2002, the Prime Minister himself has been the worst victim of ideological intolerance,” Jaitley posted on social networking site Facebook.
He accused the government’s detractors of following a two-pronged strategy to discredit the government.
“First obstruct Parliament and do not permit reforms which will bring credit to Modi Government. Second, create, by structured and organized propaganda, an environment that there is a social strife in India. They wish to project India as an intolerant society. The truth is otherwise,” he said.