Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday reiterated that there is complete harmony in India and dismissed protests against rising intolerance as a political move. Responding to questions regarding the Congress party's planned protest march on Tuesday over the issue, Jaitley said, "Where is the intolerance? We are the most vibrant democracy. There have been incidents which should not have happened, but it is not right to make them an issue like this. These incidents are taking place in states ruled by the Congress and other parties. To create an issue and link it to the central government is not fair."
Jaitley’s remarks came after hundreds of artists and academics returned their awards in the last month and spoke up against recent incidents such as the Dadri lynching and the killings of rationalists MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi will lead more than 100 other party leaders on a protest march this afternoon to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Gandhi had met President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday evening to raise the issue of intolerance.