‘Dadri incident is sad and unwarranted but has nothing to do with the Central government,’ says the Prime Minister
Raising the BJP’s familiar war cry of “pseudo-secularism”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described the Dadri lynching incident as “sad and unwarranted” but said the Opposition was engaging in the “politics of polarisation” by raising issues that his government had nothing to do with.
He also accused the Opposition of using religious minorities as a vote bank by raising the “bogey of communalism”.
“The Dadri incident or opposition to the Pakistani singer is sad and unwarranted (‘dukhjanak aur avaanchhniya’). But what is the Central government’s relation with these incidents”, Modi told the Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika in an interview published on Wednesday.
This is the first time that the Prime Minister has spoken directly on the Dadri incident – where a Muslim man was killed by a mob over rumours of beef eating – though last week he told an election rally in Bihar that Hindus and Muslims should not fight each other but poverty. In that speech, he referred to the President’s call for maintaining India’s core values of tolerance and mutual respect, but also raised the issue of cow protection and beef eating to attack the BJP’s rivals in the Bihar assembly polls – especially Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad.
The Prime Minister’s call for tolerance last week was widely seen as a response to criticism over his silence on the Dadri incident.
Asked about his party’s stand on Dadri and the cancellation of Pakistani signer Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai because of Shiv Sena’s pressure, Modi said, “The BJP never supported such kind of incidents. The opposition is raising the bogey of communalism against the BJP, but by doing this, are they themselves not engaging in the politics of polarisation?”
He said, “Such a debate has taken place in the past too. The BJP always opposed pseudo-secularism. Now again this debate is taking place in the face of unfortunate social malaise”.
“This debate can be resolved through dialogue and discussion,” he said.
Modi claimed the opposition parties were resorting to such propaganda which did not want the development of minorities and look at them as vote bank.
(With inputs from PTI)