BJP using hatred to set country on fire: Rahul Gandhi

Last Updated 25 January 2018, 10:42 IST

As school children became target of 'anti-Padmaavat' protests, Congress President Rahul Gandhi lashed out at the BJP saying its use of "hatred and violence" is setting the country on fire.

Most Congress leaders avoided speaking on the content of the movie but targeted the "complicity" of BJP-ruled states in the "failure" to implement the Supreme Court orders on 'Padmaavat'.

As most political parties avoided commenting on the film, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that films that hurt the sentiments of any religion or caste should not be made.

"If a film is different from history and hurts sentiments of people of a particular religion or community it should be best avoided to be made," Singh told reporters in Raisen in Madhya Pradesh.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury also condemned the attack on a school bus in Gurugram in Haryana, the video of which went viral on social media. School kids were seen crouching between the seats of the bus as mob pelted stones on the vehicle.

"There will never be a cause big enough to justify violence against children. Violence and hatred are the weapons of the weak. The BJP's use of hatred and violence is setting our entire country on fire," Gandhi said on Twitter late last night.

Union Minister V K Singh appeared to defend the protests against Padmavat. "Freedom of expression doesn't give us any right to tamper with the history," Singh, a former Army chief, told reporters here. He also favoured talks with the protesters.

Congress leader P Chidambaram said on the day when PM Modi invited the world to invest in India, Ahmedabad was hit by mob violence over the movie 'Padmaavat'

As violence was reported from at least four states – Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury alleged that private armies of goons with the complicity of RSS-BJP, were going on rampage.

"Today it is for so-called caste pride, on other days it is about so-called cow protection or against inter-faith marriage. This is the RSS-BJP template," Yechury said.

"This is not a mere 'law and order' failure. That would be to reduce it to some kind of administrative lapse. What we are witnessing is a direct manifestation of the politics, ideology and governance practised by the BJP," Yechury said.

Kejriwal termed the attack on the school bus a matter of shame for the entire nation.

"When they attacked Muslims all were silent; when they attacked Dalit even then all were silent; now they are coming after our children – can we still afford to be silent, " he said.

(Published 25 January 2018, 10:06 IST)

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