Rajnath cites ’84 to counter ‘intolerance’; Oppn walks out

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Old 02-Dec-2015
Post Rajnath cites ’84 to counter ‘intolerance’; Oppn walks out

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today faced the fury of the Opposition, which walked out of the Lok Sabha to protest the minister’s response to the debate on “intolerance” as he sought to compare the difference between the living conditions in India and Islamic nations.
Rajnath also cited the “intolerance” during the previous governments, particularly the Congress regime. “Intolerance has been displayed only thrice: In Partition, during Emergency and the 1984 (anti-Sikh) riots... The BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself have been the biggest victims of intolerance...At least tolerate the mandate of the people,” he said.
The Opposition hit back, accusing the minister of not responding to the issues they had raised, including the Dadri lynching and (Karnataka social activist) MM Kalburgi murder and Union Minister VK Singh’s “dog” comment on the killing of two Dalit children in Haryana. They alleged that instead of a “developed India”, a “divided India” was coming to the fore, which was a matter of “serious concern”. Barring Samajwadi Party, whose president Mulayam Singh Yadav sat through Rajnath’s reply, the Opposition members belonging to the Congress, TMC, Left, RJD and the JD(U) staged a walkout.
The minister began his reply by comparing the situation in India with that in some Islamic countries where “different sects of Islam fought against each other whereas in India people belonging to different religions lived in peace and harmony barring a few stray incidents”.
Rajnath said that anybody trying to disturb the harmony would not be spared. He also expressed readiness to order a CBI probe into the incidents like Dadri and Kalburgi murders.
On the Opposition’s allegations that Prime Minister Modi had not been saying anything on issues “that were haunting the country”, he said, “It is not necessary that on every issue the head of the government needs to speak. Internal security is the matter that concerns my ministry and I am responsible for it.”
About the BJP’s “hotheads”, he said the issue of “out of turn speeches” had also been taken up. “I must inform the House that I have cautioned the persons concerned who made such statements. I have advised them that they should not only be careful in their speeches, but also make sure that they leave no scope for misinterpretation,” he said. Rajnath said projecting India as a place “not fit for living” would only hurt the country’s image and prevent foreign investment. He contended that “manufactured allegations” were being levelled against the government on “intolerance”.

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