Hitting back after the Congress’s march to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the BJP Tuesday alleged that the opposition party was playing with fire by “stoking up communal passions” by projecting “falsehoods”, and asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been the most powerful voice against bigotry and prejudice.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi (center) leads a march of party leaders to the Presidential palace in New Delhi

Describing Congress chief Sonia Gandhi-led march as a “desperate attempt by a fading dynasty” to retain marginal relevance when it stared at “disaster” in the Bihar polls, the BJP claimed that it was indulging in the politics of despair having run out of ideas and lost all moorings to reality.

“A morally and politically bankrupt Congress leadership is playing with fire by stoking up sectarian passions for electoral gain through the projection of falsehoods,” BJP spokesman MJ Akbar said.

On Sonia’s charge that Modi is endorsing incidents of hate, Akbar said the Prime Minister had spoken repeatedly, whether from the Red Fort, in his public meetings or ‘Mann ki Baat’, in support of harmony and against bigotry.

“His pain and anguish at certain tragedies have been not just apparent but publicly stressed,” he said, recalling his statement that Hindus and Muslims should not fight each other but unite to fight poverty together.

Earlier, Sonia took to the streets and led a march of its top leaders to Rashtrapati Bhavan (president’s residence) to protest against the climate of growing intolerance in the country and accused Modi of “endorsing” incidents of hate.

Covering a distance of more than a kilometre from the Gandhi statue in Parliament to the Presidential estate on the Raisina Hill, Sonia led a delegation to President Pranab Mukherjee and handed over a memorandum against “fear, intolerance and pressure tactics” orchestrated by some organisations.

“Whatever incidents are happening in the country today are part of a well thought—out strategy being adopted deliberately to divide our society,” she told reporters quoting from the memorandum given to President.

The Congress President said what was happening in the country was a matter of deep concern to every Indian and the President has already made clear his views on them.

“But the Prime Minister is silent. It clearly indicates that he endorses all these incidents,” she said.

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