Vice President-elect Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said people were trying to use minority issues for political purposes, reported ANI.

“Indian ethos is of mutual respect for each other,” he said, a day before he will be sworn in. “People try to use minority issues for political purposes. Despite different languages, different attires, our country is one. Unity in the diversity is India’s speciality.”

His comments came a day after outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari said there was a feeling of unease among Muslims in the country as a result of the rise in incidents of intolerance and vigilantism.

Naidu also said that India was the most tolerant country and the best model for secularism. “Unfortunately, some people are trying to blow it [incidents of violence] out of proportion and trying to defame India, raising it to the national forum,” he said.

The vice president-elect also urged the government to take action against those who indulge in acts of cow vigilantism. “Incidents of man attacking another man in the name of cow and religion and caste have to be condemned,” Naidu said. “Governments at various levels should act upon them...secularism is practiced in a distorted manner.”

Ansari demits from office on Thursday after occupying it for two consecutive terms. In his last interview as the vice president on Wednesday, he had said that a sense of insecurity was “creeping in”, and that the ambience of acceptance was under threat in the country.