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Nadda slams Opposition’s ‘petty politics’, lists incidents of communal violence under Congress rule

The BJP chief’s open letter to citizens comes in the wake of the joint statement by a group of opposition parties targetting PM Modi over his “silence” on recent incidents of communal violence.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi |
Updated: April 19, 2022 2:40:40 am
BJP national president J P Nadda (File)

Lashing out at the “petty politics” of the opposition parties, BJP president J P Nadda on Monday alleged that a group of parties have “come together yet again” to wage “a direct onslaught on the spirit of our nation and cast aspersions on our hardworking citizens”.

Nadda, who unleashed a sharp attack on them in an open letter to citizens, asked the opposition leaders why they have “forgotten the shameful happenings in Karol, Rajasthan” and questioned their “haunting silence” on the issue. He was referring to the incident in Karauli on April 2 in which stones were pelted at a bike rally that passed through a Muslim-dominated area on Nav Samvatsar, the Hindu New Year, which subsequently triggered arson and violence in the area.

Nadda’s open letter comes in the wake of a group of opposition parties issuing a joint statement targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “silence” on the recent incidents of communal violence across the country.

The BJP chief said the youth in the country “want opportunities, not obstacles” and “development, not divisions” and urged the parties to “change track and embrace politics of development”.

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Taking a strong exception to the coming together of opposition parties to criticise the ruling party over recent incidents of hate speech and communal violence in the country, Nadda recalled the incident of police firing on “Hindu Sadhus sitting outside Parliament who had marched towards Delhi with the demand of banning cow slaughter in India” in November 1966. He also remembered former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s “infamous words – when a big tree falls the earth shakes – that justified the killing of thousands of Sikhs in the wake of PM Indira Gandhi’s death.”

Nadda also listed various incidents of communal violence “during Congress rule” – “in Gujarat in 1969, Moradabad 1980, Bhiwandi 1984, Meerut 1987, various incidents against the Hindus in Kashmir valley throughout the 1980s, 1989 Bhagalpur, 1994 Hubballi…” besides pointing out the Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013 and the Assam riots in 2012.

“Let me remind everyone that it was the UPA, controlled by an extra-constitutional NAC that brought in the most horrific Communal Violence Bill, which stooped to new lows of vote bank politics by even UPA standards,” he wrote in the open letter. Nadda added that the “most horrific massacres against Dalits and Tribals” have taken place under Congress regimes.

The BJP leader also questioned the recent attack on musician Ilayaraja for his support to Modi. “In Tamil Nadu, elements aligned to the ruling party in the state have left no stone unturned in verbally lynching smearing and humiliating one of India’s tallest musical maestros just because he has views not palatable to one political party and their allies. Is this democratic? One can have different views and yet coexist happily but why take to insults?” he asked.

He also criticised the “shameful political violence” in West Bengal and Kerala and added that the “repeated killing and targeting of BJP workers offers a glimpse of how some of our parties view democracy.” The BJP chief then targeted the Maharashtra government in which, he said, Cabinet ministers have been arrested on serious charges including corruption, extortion and links with anti-social elements. “Is this not worrisome for us as a nation that a state which houses India’s financial capital has such an uninspiring coalition where top Cabinet ministers have such extortionist tendencies?” he asked.

“Dyed in the wool proponents of vote bank politics that they are, these parties are fearing that their shenanigans are being finally exposed comprehensively. For decades, they freely patronised lumpen, anti-social elements who bullied common people. Now that these elements are being subjected to the laws of the land, the parties which sheltered these elements are panicking and thus taking to this bizarre conduct,” he wrote.

According to Nadda, the recent election results should be an eye-opener for those who thrive on vote bank politics because “due to the BJP, India is seeing a sentiment of pro-incumbency where developmental politics is being resoundingly rewarded.”

In their recent joint statement, opposition leaders, including Congress president Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar expressed concern over “the manner in which issues relating to food, dress, faith, festivals and language are being deliberately used by the ruling establishment to polarise society”. The statement followed an article written by Gandhi in The Indian Express in which she alleged that fear, deception and intimidation were the pillars of the Modi government.

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