Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to worry about Indian universities instead of making statements about the words “Om” and “cow”.

Speaking in Mathura on Wednesday, the prime minister had said some people in the country get irritated when they hear the words “Om” or “gau” (cow).

Sibal said these were “politically charged statements” and cited a survey to state that for the first time since 2012, no Indian university was in the top 300 in a list of global universities. “Get to work on issues that matter,” Sibal said.

Meanwhile, All India Majlis e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi said: “The cow is a sacred animal for our Hindu brothers but in the Constitution, the right to life and equality has been given to humans, I hope the PM will keep it in mind.”

Owaisi said Modi should get worried when human beings are killed in the name of cows and the Constitution is insulted.

Communist Party of India leader D Raja wondered why Modi was raising these concerns when he should be talking about the state of the economy, PTI reported. “He is saying this at a time when in the name of cow and God, mob lynchings are happening unabated across the country,” Raja said. “He should behave as the PM of this country, must speak on real issues and address unemployment instead of attacking the Opposition.”

Modi had said: “Some people get irritated when they hear the word Om, some get irritated when they hear the word gau. These people imagine that we are back in the 16th century. These people don’t understand what cattle rearing means and how greatly it contributes to the economy of the country and its farmers.”

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