Rahul slams Modi for 'silence' on intolerance

Rahul slams Modi for 'silence' on intolerance

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a direct attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi by questioning his silence on statements made by BJP leaders and listed examples of “intolerance” created by his government.

“Today, in India to protest means sedition,” Rahul said during a discussion in the Lok Sabha on incidents of intolerance and referring to the protests by Patidaar community in Gujarat.

The Congress leader said the campaign demanding reservations for the Patel community had exposed Modi’s claims about the famed Gujarat model of development.

In a 30-minute speech, Rahul singled out controversial statements made by Union Minister V K Singh and BJP leaders Yogi Adityanath and Sakshi Maharaj to buttress his claims on intolerance displayed by the ruling party members.

“I cannot find Shri V K Singh here. A General who likened Dalit children to dogs... Our Prime Minister allowed this man to continue as minister,” Rahul said prompting vociferous protests from BJP members. 

“This is another untruth spread by the Congress,” BJP member Anurag Thakur said leading to uproar in the House. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan directed Thakur to take his seat and asked other members to maintain decorum. Rahul then referred to the Dadri lynching incident and the murders of rationalists M M Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar.

“The man ultimately responsible for his protection – the Prime Minister of India – remains silent…The Prime Minister has nothing to say about it,” he said. Rahul also accused the Modi government of trying to crush the will of the students at the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India who complained about a “mediocre man placed on top of their institution”.

“All they wanted was for you to listen to them. They want to be heard. That is all. Yet, the government that crushed their voice does not see the contradiction,” the Congress leader said. 

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