Modi should rein in divisive elements in BJP: Azad

Srinagar—Taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the JNU row, Congress on Monday alleged that he was “responsible” for the events as he had failed to rein in his party members who have been issuing inflammatory and divisive statements since BJP government came to power.
Terming the action against JNU students as “one-sided”, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Prime Minister cannot “pick and choose” and questioned why he did not firmly deal with divisive elements within BJP.
“During an all-party meet, I told the Prime Minister that whatever is happening in JNU or has happened in Hyderabad, who is responsible for that. I said, in front of him, that Honourable Prime Minister if you do not take offence, it is you and your government that are responsible for that,” the Congress general secretary told reporters here.
Azad said he told the Prime Minister that since the BJP came to power, ministers, party functionaries, MPs and even Governors were issuing statements which lead to tension between Muslims and Hindus. “So, I told him that we have been saying it inside Parliament as well as outside it that you say ‘sabkasaathsabkavikaas’ everywhere, but if your party men, your governor, your ministers and your MPs issue statements of dividing the country, then somewhere you are involved in it. The head of the family has to decide whom to punish. When you will not punish anyone, like you have to drop or expel someone so that everyone will fall in line, when you do not do that, then you do not have any right over who raises slogans inside a university as your own party raises similar kind of slogans in other forms,” Azad said.
The leader of opposition said Congress condemns the slogans raised in JNU but punishment cannot be one-sided.
“We condemn the slogans raised in JNU, whoever it is whether a Hindu or a Muslim who has raised them, but it is your (PM’s) responsibility because you did not rein in your party. So, if anyone else raises similar kind of slogans, you charge him with sedition but there is no action on your own people. This is one-sided. So, the Prime Minister and the government are responsible for this,” Azad said.
The Congress leader said the Prime Minister cannot “pick and choose”. “Whether it is a Hindu or Muslim or someone from Congress, BJP, Left or right in our country, whoever the people of country repose their trust and vote him to become the Prime Minister… He should not indulge in pick and choose. He will have to take severe action if his own party men say something wrong. But that is not happening,” Azad said.
Azad said Congress does not need lessons on nationalism from the BJP. “I have said in Parliament that Congress does not need lessons on nationalism from BJP. For them, nationalism is something new, but for Congress party it is a matter of decades, in fact more than 130 years which are recorded. So, we do not need any lessons from them and by using some channels or newspapers, they cannot weaken our nationalism,” he said.
He said his party will not allow the government to charge any innocent person with sedition. “The slogans in favour of Pakistan and for destruction of India are wrong.—GK

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