Rubbishing the allegations of ‘intolerance’ against the NDA government, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Saturday said had the government been ‘intolerant’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not have paid a surprise visit to Pakistan to wish his counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday. The PM had not received a formal invite and the meeting was arranged at the last minute while he was on his way back to Delhi from Afghanistan.
“Every country engages in diplomacy for development and to maintain relations with other countries. But this is the first time when ‘innovative diplomacy’ is being done by any country. It has been done by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Rajnath, who is visiting his parliamentary constituency, said.
He said talks should continue with the neighbouring countries, while noting that “ups and downs” can come in the relations but talks could help in resolving the issues.
Addressing a ‘Jan Samvad’ programme in Lucknow organised by BJP to mark the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Rajnath also praised Modi for introducing what he termed as “cultural diplomacy” by citing yoga’s recognition by the United Nations, a result of the proposal first mooted by the PM.
“After Vajpayee ji, it is only Modi who has raised the country’s stature before the world since the Independence,” he said.
He termed the allegations against the central government of being ‘intolerant’ as being made “only to malign the image of the government”, saying people in the Indian culture are tolerant by nature.
The home minister also asked party workers to approach the minorities and “make friends” with members of the communities as Indian culture “does not allow for the creation of hatred between different communities” and therefore efforts must be made to connect with people irrespective of their caste, community and religion.
“Creating hatred among people is not our agenda. Our target is to communicate the message of love and harmony among the masses,” said Rajnath.
Rajnath said that party workers have the responsibility to popularise the good works and the achievements of the central government.
The minister also termed as “baseless” the recent allegations of corruption against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, saying the “integrity” of Jaitley cannot be suspected.