Congress protests over inflation, GST | India

Congress protest is a bid for appeasement: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. | Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K

Union Home Minister Amit Shah responded sharply to the Congress protest on Friday, stating that the party had chosen August 5 as the date as a subtle message “of its appeasement politics” as it was on the same day in 2020 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation for the construction of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya.

“Congress chose this day for protest and wore black clothes because they want to give a subtle message to further promote their appeasement politics because on this day itself Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation of Ram Janmabhoomi. It was a peaceful resolution of a 550-year-old issue which also fulfilled the aspirations of crores of people and their faith. I want to say that a policy of appeasement is not good for the country and anyone else, and it is because it follows such policies that Congress is in a state that it’s in,” he said. He also said that the Congress as a responsible political party should comply with the law, as the National Herald case was being investigated.

‘Shameful and irresponsible’

Earlier in the day, former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addressing the press shortly after Mr. Gandhi’s own presser before the Congress’ protest march from Parliament, said that the Opposition leader had made “shameful and irresponsible” comments. “Stop demeaning the institutions of India to safeguard your corruption and misdeeds. If people don’t listen to you why are you blaming us,” said Mr. Prasad.

“If people saw dictatorship, it was during Emergency when people, including Opposition leaders and Editors, were jailed, judges superseded and censorship imposed. Indira Gandhi had then spoken about having a ‘committed judiciary’,” he said. Mr. Gandhi had earlier alleged that India was witnessing the “death of democracy” .

Mr. Prasad asked Mr. Gandhi why “blame democracy when people of India reject you with repeated regularity”. He also queried whether there was any internal democracy within the Congress, a party, he said that had some “good leaders” but was really all about the Gandhi family.

“Rahul Gandhi had made all kind of allegations against Prime Minister Modi during the 2019 polls as well but people elected him with a bigger mandate,” he said.

Mr. Prasad said the former Congress president “must answer as to how Young Indian, a firm in which the two Gandhis have 76% stake, allegedly acquired National Herald’s assets worth over ₹5,000 crore with the investment of only ₹5 lakh”.

“The judiciary refused to quash charges against him and others in the case, and he is now blaming institutions,” Mr. Prasad added. Mr. Gandhi would have to face the consequences for what he had done, Mr. Prasad said.

The government under Mr. Modi had been taking strong measures against corruption, and the Congress and the system around it were rattled because democracy had become synonymous with financial irregularities when the Opposition party was in power, he alleged.

Bogus arguments: Jairam Ramesh

Responding to Mr. Shah’s allegation, Congress’ communication chief Jairam Ramesh tweeted that the Home Minister’s comments sought to divert attention and polarise.

“Home Minister has made a desperate attempt to divert, distract, polarise and give a malicious twist to today’s democratic protests of @INCIndia against price rise, unemployment & GST. It’s only a sick mind which can produce such bogus arguments. Clearly the protests have hit home!” Mr. Ramesh said.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 11:23:03 am |