The opposition Monday accused the BJP of indulging in “divisive politics” and “communal polarisation” and demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah over BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav’s tweets.
The Congress led the attack as senior party leader Jairam Ramesh said that Madhav’s comments showed Yoga Day was an attempt at “communal polarisation”, just like the Namami Gange initiative. “Communal polarisation is the only thing that Modi, Amit Shah and Ram Madhav know… Whatever the BJP and the PM do is aimed at communal polarisation,” he said.
“This obnoxious tweet by Ram Madhav, knowing fully well the constitutional position of the vice-president, is a deliberate and mischievous attempt at polarisation and at giving yoga a communal flavour,” he added.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said Modi, Shah and Madhav should apologise for “deliberately maligning” the vice-president. “It is a matter of protocol… The Government did not invite him… But still an attempt was made to malign the vice-president,” he said.
Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed said, “Targeting the vice-president exclusively on the basis of his name or… on the basis of his religion is unfortunate and it shows the mentality of the RSS and the BJP.”
CPM Politburo member Mohammed Salim said the incident “is reflective of the mindset of the Sangh parivar”. “On one hand they are talking about an international event and national identity, and on the other they are targeting (the V-P) on the basis of communal lines.”
NCP’s Majid Memon questioned why the V-P was not invited. “Is it because he is Muslim? The government and the PM must answer how a vice-president was not invited. It is a serious omission,” he said.
In Lucknow, BSP chief Mayawati accused the government of “communalising” Yoga Day celebrations and said the ruling BJP had shown yet again that it was not ready to shun its “narrow-mindedness”.