Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday lashed out at the Congress for submitting a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind, in which the party called for Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s sacking and said that the government should follow “raj dharma” (duty of a leader) . Prasad said the party should not speak about such duties if it was going to “flip flop” on the Citizenship Amendment Act, the BJP tweeted.
“I ask [Congress President] Sonia Gandhi, your senior leaders had a view about those persecuted in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he said. “[Former Prime Minister] Indira Gandhi had given help to people who fled from Uganda, Rajiv Gandhi had helped Tamils from Sri Lanka. [Former Prime Minister] Manmohan Singh had urged LK Advani that citizenship should be given, and [Rajasthan Chief Minister] Ashok Gehlot had written to the home ministers in both UPA [United Progressive Alliance] and NDA [National Democratic Alliance] for citizenship...So has [Congress leader] Tarun Gogoi...So what is this ‘rajdharma’ that makes your party flip flop?”
“Rajdharma”, or “duty of a leader”, was a Hindi word famously used by former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee to ask then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to act during the 2002 riots in the state.
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The minister also accused Sonia Gandhi of instigating people by making remarks such as “is par aur ki ladai [the fight between two sides] during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan. “The whole issue was debated in Parliament, so why are you instigating people?” Prasad asked. He asked Sonia Gandhi not to teach the BJP about duties as her record was “full of rapid twists and turns for plain and simple vote bank politics”.
The Union minister further claimed that the Congress had chosen to adopt a policy of changing its position on the current administration’s decisions. On March 15, 2010, the United Progressive Alliance had issued a notification for the National Population Register, he said, adding that they are now against it. “...this was stated by the Congress for the good of the country, but when they do it it’s allowed, when we say it, you instigate people,” the minister said.
On Thursday, the Congress had urged President Ram Nath Kovind to immediately call for the removal Shah for his “inability” to contain the violent clashes, that began in Delhi on Sunday evening. The memorandum also hit out at the Centre, the Delhi government, and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying they did not take “active steps to remedy or diffuse the situation”.
At least 42 people have been killed due to large-scale communal violence in parts of North East Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act. Security personnel conducted flag marches in violence-hit areas on Thursday night.
‘Do not approve of their remarks’
Prasad said that the BJP does not approve of the incendiary remarks made by leaders like Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma and Anurag Thakur, PTI reported. He said Amit Shah has already clarified his stand on the matter.
“If publicly very senior leaders have disapproved of these statements, I think it means a lot,” Prasad told reporters in response to a question as to why action had not been taken against the three leaders. “And the party with its own internal system will surely respond to these situations.” He added that the matter is sub judice.