UNION MINISTER Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said the issue of national security should not be politicised but for votebank politics, terrorists and terror organisations were being appeased.
He was responding to a question on the alleged political link of suspected ISI agents, who were arrested in Kolkata on Sunday.
The Kolkata Police STF had arrested three of a family for their alleged links to the Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). They were identified as Irshad Ansari (51), his son Asfaq Ansari (23) and relative Mohammed Jahangir.
Significantly, while Irshad was an active member of Trinamool Congress-backed labour union of the port area, Asfaq was the general secretary of Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad — the ruling Trinamool’s student wing — at a college in south Kolkata. While local TMCP leaders have admitted that Irshad was a Trinamool worker, state TMCP president Ashok Rudra had claimed that Asfaq was “removed two months ago over anti-party activities”.
On Tuesday, without naming the Trinamool, Gadkari said: “For the sake of votebank politics, the situation today is such that appeasement of terrorists and terror organisations is happening, which is not good. On the question of country’s security, there is no scope for politics.” He was speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the AGM of the Bharat Chamber of Commerce.
“We have to fight terrorism collectively and globally… even Muslim countries are fighting against terrorism… Pakistan, after losing three battles, has become convinced that it cannot defeat India in a battle and thus, has started a proxy war. They have started sending terrorists to India to upset the Hindu-Muslim communal harmony that exists here,” Gadkari said.
Speaking about “intolerance”, Gadkari emphasised that his government’s aim was development for all. He claimed that Congress was levelling unfounded allegations against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which “it is doing intentionally to create a sense of fear in a community for the sake of votes”. “Some are indulging in such malpractices intentionally because they can’t stomach the progress under BJP and Narendra Modi,” he added.
“Unfortunately, even in Parliament, allegations are being made against the Home Minister, which are not true…,” Gadkari said. CPM’s Mohammad Salim, in Lok Sabha on Monday, had angered the treasury benches with a remark about Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Salim had relied on a report in Outlook magazine that had attributed the remark to Rajnath in the aftermath of the election of Narendra Modi as PM. After the controversy broke in Parliament, Outlook clarified the quote was wrongly attributed to Rajnath and tweeted: “It was not our intention to denigrate the home minister or Parliament. Outlook sincerely regrets the embarrassment caused to Mr Rajnath Singh and Mr Mohammad Salim.”
The tweet provided a link to a page where Outlook said, “… A remark (‘first Hindu ruler after 800 years’) made by the late Ashok Singhal of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad was erroneously attributed to… Rajnath Singh.”
Without taking Salim’s name, Gadkari said: “Whoever has levelled the allegation against the Home Minister yesterday in Parliament, either prove it or resign. Parliament should not be a place for unfounded allegations.”
On awards being returned by poets and authors, Gadkari said: “I want to ask one question. The writer (M M Kalburgi) was killed in Karnataka. The Congress is in power there and law and order is a state subject. The Dadri lynching incident happened in UP under the SP regime. But BJP is being blamed… It is being intentionally done to ensure that the law and order situation of the country deteriorates.”
“No one returned their awards after the Mumbai attacks. Some writers, affiliated to the Communist ideology and who cannot see Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India, are blaming us for things that the BJP is not directly or indirectly involved in,” he claimed. Fear was one of the “biggest capitals” being used by some parties to portray a brutal image of Modi and the BJP, added Gadkari.
Asked to comment on state BJP chief Rahul Sinha saying on Monday that “if BJP was not voted to power in the 2016 Assembly polls, Bengal will turn into Pakistan”, Gadkari said: “Media picks up one phrase from a speech and runs it as breaking news, without any reference to what has been said before or after it… I am the former president of BJP and a responsible leader. I am saying that our motto is ‘Sabka ka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. There will be no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed or