National

Intolerance remark: Cong. accuses Modi of ‘doublespeak’

India’s image has suffered in the last 18 months because of the ideology of the ruling party.

Congress on Friday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying his remark that intolerance will not be accepted in any part of the country is “doublespeak” as he is a tacit “endorser” and nothing prevented him from taking action against hotheads within BJP.

“It is important to remind the Prime Minister that he has neither condemned, nor acted upon number of incidents which involve his party colleagues, his ministers, the leaders of BJP and the RSS,” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters.

Responding to a question at a press interaction in London, Mr. Modi had said, “India does not accept intolerance even if it is one or two or three incidents. But for a country of 125 crore people whether it is significant or not, it does not matter. For us every incident is serious. We do not tolerate it.”

Mr. Sharma said since Mr. Modi has not taken any action, the only inference or conclusion that can be drawn is that he is very much a tacit “endorser”.

“It is his characteristic style and an exercise in hypocrisy and double speak,” Mr. Sharma said while accusing Prime Minister of being intolerant to criticism itself.

He said there cannot be a greater contradiction between what the government does and what the Prime Minister has said.

If Prime Minister is serious about what he said abroad, then “What prevents the Prime Minister to ensure the removal of the guilty ministers who have made communal statements? What has prevented Shri Narendra Modi to demand the removal of BJP office bearers and RSS leaders who are indicted, stand exposed and who are complicit in what has been happening in the country?” Mr. Sharma, a former Union Minister, said.

The Congress leader said while Mr. Modi has been claiming that he has restored the country’s credibility, India’s views were listened to with respect even before he took over as Prime Minister.

India’s image has suffered in the last 18 months because of the ideology of the ruling party and there is a polarised environment for which his government is solely responsible, Mr. Sharma said.

“We completely reject the claim that he improved India’s credibility. This is once again a proof of a mindset of I, me, myself, Narendra Modi,” Mr. Sharma said, adding that by repeating this in various countries, he was only embarrassing the country.

Asked about the political slugfest over Tipu Jayanthi, Mr. Sharma said that the reality of history should be accepted and not every matter should be seen from the point of view of religion.

On whether Rahul Gandhi would attend the Nitish Kumar government’s swearing-in ceremony, Mr. Sharma said as far as he knew, the Congress vice-president would.

Mr. Sharma also claimed that India’s economy was being mismanaged, with manufacturing output and exports declining.

Mr. Sharma said that Modi government should come out with a statement as to how many jobs have been lost.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 11:30:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/prime-minister-narendra-modis-threeday-uk-visit-intolerance-remark-cong-accuses-modi-of-doublespeak/article7873020.ece

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