Intolerance debate goes off tangent as PM rakes up‘84 riots , Sonia calls on Prez ,
New Delhi : There are no signs of the intolerance debate cooling down anytime soon. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi questioned the moral right of the Congress to lecture the NDA after the 1984 anti- Sikh riots, the opposition charged him with failing to discharge his moral and constitutional responsibility as the prime minister of the country. Modi broke his silence over the intolerance controversy in his characteristic counter attack on the Congress. He said at a rally in Purnea:” 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 the Congress and its leaders. Today, on the same day, the Congress party is giving a 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.”
In the closing phase of the crucial Bihar state assembly elections, the prime minister was scathing in his attack against the leaders of the Grand Alliance. At another rally in Darbhanga, he said:” When there were blasts in Pune and Mumbai and a Dalit police officer was investigating the ‘Darbhanga module’ of terror, its strings touched some leaders closely associated with those in power. While no action was taken against those encouraging and blessing people involved in terrorist activities, the brave policewoman seeking to find the truth was forced to leave Darbhanga and Bihar. Do you want such people to rule in Patna who play with the country’s security, those who shelter terrorists and encourage them? Do you want a government of such people? Do you want terrorism to enter this land of Bihar? Do you want Bihar to become a land of bomb blasts?” The Congress, too, retaliated in full measure with party spokesperson Anand Sharma charging that Modi has failed to discharge his moral and constitutional responsibility as the country’s prime minister. Recalling former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s rajdharma comment in the wake of the 2002 Gujrat riots, he said: “In 2002 he did follow the raj dharma as chief minister and 2015 he is doing the same thing as prime minister. He should remember that he is the prime minister of the country first and an RSS pracharak later.”
“No mature prime minister would rake up a tragic episode that took place more than 30 years ago and reopen old wounds,” said Sharma while pointing out the differences over the ways in which the 1984 and 2002 riots were handled. ”The 1984 riots took place in the backdrop of the tragic assassination of our prime minister Indira Gandhi but were brought under control within 72 hours, and not just the police, but even the army was deployed in the national capital. On the contrary, in 2002 the bodies of the victims of the Godhra train tragedy were not handed over to their kin, but put on public display to inflame the passions and the rioters had all the opportunity to spread trouble,” he added. Ahead of the Congress protest against intolerance party president Sonia Gandhi called on President Pranab Mukherjee for a 40-minute meeting. Gandhi has already voiced concern on the issue and vowed to fight the “diabolical design” of divisive forces to spread hatred, which posed a threat to the unity of the country. On his part, Mukherjee too has repeatedly spoken on the subject. The march on Tuesday would be led by Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, with the participation of the members of the extended working committee, office bearers of the All India Congress Committee and members of Parliament.