Senior Congress leader and Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has flayed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for maintaining a stoic silence on three core issues – abrogation of Article 370, Ram Temple and uniform civil code.
Pointing that the BJP remained silent on abrogation of Article 370, which offered special status to Kashmir, building of Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and enforcement of uniform civil code, Mr. Chidambaram cautioned the minorities to be careful on the “evil” designs of the BJP and “dangers” of the party coming to power at the Centre.
“More than what the BJP leaders say in public, what they do not say is very important,” he said and dared the BJP to openly declare that it would drop its three ‘poisonous’ core issues, which would not only divide the country but also sow hatred among people.
Mr. Chidambaram, addressing a minorities’ conference, organised by the party here on Saturday, said the Congress had opposed the three issues in the past and asserted that it would continue to oppose them steadfastly in future too.Uniform civil code
Mr. Chidambaram wondered how a uniform civil code was possible in India when there were separate laws for Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis. Asking whether the BJP would accept if the Muslim or Christian laws were made uniform civil code, he said if this was not possible, the Hindu laws could also not be made uniform civil code.
Mr. Chidambaram said an anti-minority attitude came to the fore in Tamil Nadu, when Chief Minister Jayalalithaa supported the ‘kar seva” and justified the building of Ram temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and brought in the controversial anti-conversion law.
Defending the minorities’ demand for equality and equal rights, he said the Congress fully backed their demand unmindful of the election prospects, he said. Mr Modi might talk about equality, but never practised it in reality, he said.Godhra riots
Mr. Chidambaram has launched a broadside against Mr. Modi for refusing to apologise for 2002 Godhra riots. After the riots, in which about 2,000 Muslims were massacred, the country demanded an apology from Mr. Modi, but he not only refused to tender an apology but ridiculed the Muslims with his infamous “puppy remark.”
While Mr Modi’s ministerial colleague Maya Kodnani was convicted and sentenced to jail in connection with the carnage and the then Home Minister Amit Shah was facing trial after obtaining bail, Mr. Modi would not tender an apology, but talk about the 1984 riots, he said.
Stating that the Congress was ashamed of the 1984 riots, in which hundreds of Sikhs were killed, in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi, he said former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was hardly one day in office, but had apologised to the nation for the riots.
Describing the 2014 general elections as an ‘invisible mega war’ with Modi in the opposition camp, he said the war would decide whether India was going to remain as India or dominated by a particular ‘vargam’ destroying the unity in diversity.