Countering the Opposition attack on the government, especially over the incidents of lynching, Home Minister Rajnath Singh tore into the Congress, saying “the biggest incident of mob lynching happened during 1984” when anti-Sikh riots broke out following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
Speaking in Lok Sabha during the debate on the motion of no-confidence on Friday, Singh, referring to remarks like ‘Hindu Taliban’ by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and ‘mini-Pakistan’ by a TMC MLA, cautioned Opposition parties against dividing India.
“There have been remarks like Hindu Taliban and mini-Pakistan. Where are you taking the country?… India is the only country where minorities are prospering…. Don’t incidents of a Kerala professor’s hands being chopped by Islamic fundamentalists, or attacks in Kashmir remind you of Taliban?”
He said his government has already asked states to take stringent action and make strict laws against incidents of lynching and vigilantism. “The biggest incident of mob lynching happened during 1984… and a big leader (a reference to Rajiv Gandhi) said when a big tree falls, the earth shakes. And they (Congress) are trying to give us lessons on mob lynching,” he said.
In his speech, which was disturbed by TDP MPs repeatedly, Singh tried to champion the BJP’s cultural nationalist stance. Referring to Basavanna’s democratic principles, the valour and generosity, even towards enemies, of Lord Ram, Chandragupta Maurya, Prithviraj Chauhan and Shivaji, he contrasted it with the Emergency imposed by the Congress government in 1975.
Singh questioned the Opposition’s move to bring a the no-confidence motion against the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “on whose appeal millions of Indians voluntarily gave up LPG subsidy and subsidies on railways”.
He said people in the country have not understood why there is a no-trust motion against the government. “The people who brought the no-confidence motion haven’t learnt the mood of the nation. When we were in the Opposition for 10 years, we never thought of bringing a no-confidence motion since we respected the people’s mandate. We respect the Opposition and that is why we heeded to their demands and accepted the no-confidence motion. This government has the mandate of the people,” he said.
He also ridiculed Opposition attempts to unite against the BJP. “They (the Opposition) do not trust each other. And when it comes to talking about the leadership, then gayi bhains paani mein (they lose their steam),” Singh said.
In another swipe at the Congress, he said Rajiv Gandhi had ridiculed the BJP for having two MPs in Lok Sabha in 1984, but “one should not be arrogant as time changes and the same party today has majority in Parliament”.
Singh spent a good part of his speech to list the achievements of the BJP-led government and credited Prime Minister Modi for it. He also had a dig at Congress president Rahul Gandhi: “Some are born with a silver spoon. What will they know of the farmer’s plight? They can only hear about these problems, but will not understand their suffering.”