The Congress on Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that the Opposition party had coined the term “Hindu terror” was a “lie”, and that the phrase was “defined by his ministerial colleague, who was then a home secretary”.
The CPM also hit out at Modi, saying that the Election Commission (EC) should take action against him as his speeches were “communally charged”. Click here for more election news
The phrase “Hindu terror”, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “was defined by his ministerial colleague, who was then a home secretary,” Tewari said, referring to R K Singh, who joined the BJP before the 2014 elections and is Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Power.
The Congress believes that “terrorism does not have any religion or caste and it needs to be fought”, he said. “It is unfortunate that the Prime Minister is trying to speak a lie to deflect attention from his own failures.”
Regarding Modi’s comments alluding to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also contesting from Wayanad in Kerala, Tewari said that “unlike” the PM, “who sees the citizens of the country in terms of their communities and not as citizens of India, the Congress sees each and every of the 135 crore citizens as Indians”. By trying to “segment Indian democracy in terms of castes and communities, the Prime Minister has insulted the democracy that we are,” Tewari said in response to a question.
At another press conference, spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that a “frustrated and flustered PM has shed all sense of responsibility of the high office he holds and has broken down every constitutional norm…”
Countering the charge that Rahul was contesting from a constituency where majority of the constituents belong to the minority community, Surjewala asked if Modi knows that “Wayanad has nearly 50 per cent Hindu population besides the population of backwards, of Scheduled Tribe, of Dalits and of many, many other religions”. He said there are nearly 20 per cent Christians and 28 per cent Muslims in Wayanad. “It is an ideal ground of combination of various communities and religions who thrive together and live together,” said Surjewala.
Modi, he said, “has insulted the freedom movement, he has insulted the entire Southern India, he has insulted the composite culture of India” and asked the EC to take note of it.
In a tweet, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “The intemperate, communally charged and divisive speech of Modi is in blatant violation of the Indian Constitution, let alone the Model Code of Conduct. It is incumbent upon the Election Commission to initiate strictest disciplinary action promptly.”
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi Monday also accused Modi of “dividing” Hindus and Muslims on religious lines to win elections for the BJP, which he said did not behove the PM’s position. —With PTI inputs
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines