“At a time when the country should be standing together, Sonia Gandhi and the Congress want to do politics. We don’t want to join issue with them, except to remind them about their responsibility in such situations,” Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told The Indian Express. “It’s time for the Congress to reflect on its stand on issues related to national interest. The party should realise that national interest is above political interest,” he said.
His Cabinet colleague, Prakash Javadekar, said: “There is no demand more laughable than this, because Amit Shah has been working since Day 1 to handle the situation.”
“Such comments and politics by the Congress will not help the morale of the police. We appeal to them not to do politics on the issue,” Javadekar told reporters, as he urged all parties to work together for peace.
“Playing a blame game at this time is wrong… At such a time, attacking the government and politicising violence is dirty politics,” he said. “Those whose hands are tainted with the blood of innocent Sikhs in 1984 are now talking about checking the violence… they themselves had supported violence,” Javadekar said.
“We have faith that the truth will come out after police investigations about who pelted stones, who fired bullets, who attacked the policemen, who indulged in arson and who instigated them for two months,” he said. Defending Shah, Javadekar said the “home minister is working continuously, whether from Delhi or outside, with the police”.
Javadekar, however, parried questions on party leader Kapil Mishra’s statements, saying the matter was being heard by the Delhi High Court. On Sunday, Mishra, a former MLA from Karawal Nagar, had threatened anti-CAA protesters and issued an ultimatum to the Delhi Police to get Jafrabad and Chand Bagh road cleared of protesters.
Prasad said the Congress had behaved irresponsibly even during US President Donald Trump’s visit. “Yesterday, Mr Trump was showering praise on India’s potential and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the Congress party boycotted the function just because Sonia Gandhi was not invited. The party could not go beyond family interests even on an occasion like this,” he said.
Prasad said the previous Congress-led UPA government had never bothered to invite either Rajnath Singh or Nitin Gadkari — both former BJP presidents — during earlier visits by then US Presidents. “They were presidents of a recognised main Opposition party during these visits, whereas the Congress does not have that kind of strength in Lok Sabha,” he said.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao also raised the 1984 riots to hit back at the Congress. “Home Minister has given orders for strictest action against rioters. SoniaG, what about your late husband Rajiv Gandhi who allowed Congress goons to kill 3,000 Sikhs in Delhi & later justified violence, promoted rioters. Would you consider returning Bharat Ratna awarded to him?,” he tweeted.
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