In the wake of claims by former Home Secretary R.K. Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde should be sacked if it is proved in an inquiry that he tried to prevent Delhi police from taking action against an associate of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Deputy Leader of the BJP in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said that if Mr. Shinde indeed prevented Delhi police from taking action against a key aide of Dawood in the IPL betting scandal, as alleged by Singh who recently joined the party, then it is a serious matter which should be probed thoroughly.

“After inquiry if he (Shinde) is found to have intervened as there is contemporaneous evidence of Home Secretary saying so, he must be sacked. He has no political, moral or legal authority to remain as the Home Minister even for a moment,” Mr. Prasad said.

BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi termed the claims made by Singh as astounding and said they showed how the Congress-led UPA government has been functioning.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs was interfering in a match-fixing case in which associates of don Dawood Ibrahim sought favours. Appointments were also made in an illegal manner after slips were exchanged,” she alleged.

BJP also charged the Congress with indulging in minority appeasement for votebank politics by offering sops such as scholarships and reservations to Muslims.

It said that the government is not concerned about those who are poor and impoverished while formulating its policies and is instead engaged in carrying on its “communal agenda.”

“This is apparent from the policies which clearly show this bias. 20 million scholarships were given to students in the name of religion and not to people who actually require a scholarship,” Ms. Lekhi said, adding that the government is playing the politics of minority and majority.

The main opposition charged the government with discriminating against people on basis of religion.

Ms. Lekhi recalled that in the past the Congress-led UPA government has offered several sops which were aimed only at the Muslims.

“Congress is indulging in votebank gimmicks....Its policies show a bias against nationhood. Government should explain its conduct over the last ten years,” Ms. Lekhi said.

She dismissed Congress allegations about the timing of Mr. Singh’s revelations, saying the ruling party has tried to appease the minority on several occasions.

“Congress has exposed its communal agenda and mindset in the garb of secularism,” she said.

“In December, 2006, the Prime Minister had said that Muslims have the first right over the country’s resources.

“Then in 2012, during the time of Uttar Pradesh elections, the Home Minister had said chief ministers should release the Muslims in jails. Congress leader Salman Khurshid had said during the same elections that minorities should be given reservations,” Ms. Lekhi said.

Mr. Prasad recalled that earlier Mr. Shinde had raked up the issue of saffron terror and had to apologise.

“Then he raised the issue of withdrawal of cases against Muslims. Terrorism or crime has no colour. His whole department is quite surprised under what authority he has made these comments,” he said.

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