Free Press Journal

You face threat from within, not us: Azad to PM


Ghulam Nabi Azad

New Delhi: Congress today told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he faces a threat from within rather than the opposition as it wondered whether he would be successful in restraining divisive elements in the Sangh who have “not even spared Mother Teresa”. Slamming the controversial statements made by BJP and RSS leaders, including Mohan Bhagwat, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the onus of restraining such people is on Modi as people had entrusted their faith when he gave the “inclusive slogan of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas'”.

As Modi listened, Azad said, “Prime Minister, you don’t face a threat from us. You face a threat from within…’Ghar ka bhedi, Lanka dhaye’ (A Trojan Horse can bring down the empire). It is difficult to fight a person from within one’s family. I can understand your difficulty.” Participating in a debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address, he told Modi, “If you are successful in stopping them, then all schemes, whether begun by us or by you, will be completed.”

The senior Congress leader mentioned issues like ‘ghar wapsi’, love-jihad’, incidents of attacks on churches and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s controversial remarks on Mother Teresa. Referring to a statement made by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat asking all hindus to unite for “past glory”, Azad wondered whether the unity should be desired to eliminate terrorism, poverty and to bring cleanliness or whether it should be aimed against others.

Tomorrow somebody could stand and say that muslims have been rulers for seven hundred years and they should unite for past glory while Buddhists could start speaking of the reign of Ashoka and so could other religions, he said. “Do we have to fight battles?” Azad asked as he underlined that people of all religions are nationalists who love their motherland.

“These people have not even spared Mother Teresa” Azad continued, as Congress members shouted ‘shame-shame’, apparently referring to recent remarks of RSS chief where he had said that conversions to Christianity was a motivation behind work done by Teresa. “This is the land of Buddha, Vivekananda, Gandhi, Bhagat Singh….What is happening,” Azad and asked Modi if he can stop those organisations, which are “close” to him.

Azad also accused the government of merely changing the names of several schemes and programmes which had been begun by the UPA.

In his speech, Azad invoked Mahatama Gandhi and said that there is nobody more hindu or more secular than him. He said that Gandhi believed that all religions are flowers of a single garden. Azad said that there are instances in other countries which could serve as a lesson to fanatics on how people of the same religion can wage a war against their own people.

Before attacking the government on controversial statements, Azad also launched a scathing attack on the government’s performance in the first eight months. Claiming that BJP was a “hero in publicity” and “zero in actual work”, Azad said, “Congress is vice versa”. He said many schemes that had been initiated in the previous UPA regime had been renamed by the present one.

‘Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan’ has become ‘Swacch Bharat’ while ‘Jandhan Yojana’ existed as scheme for financial inclusion and ‘Skill development’ programme too functioned earlier, he said. Azad claimed that many inaugurations by Prime Minister of projects related from submarines to space were initiated by the previous UPA regime.

Referring to the President’s Address, Azad said many issues which were government’s priorities earlier were missing from it. He said the women’s issues were a top priority of the government but during the phase of President’s Rule in Delhi, there was “maximum violence” against women.

He said issues like black money, Andhra-Telangana issues, employment for youth and other such things, which government had talked much about earlier, were missing from the speech. The senior Congress leader also hit out at the manner in which government removed people in important positions. He said senior officials like Foreign Secretary, DRDO chief, Chancellor of Nalanda University, Censor Board chairperson and others had to bear this attitude of the government.