The “refusal” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assure action against those BJP Ministers and MPs who had made “provocative” statements on the conversion issue had caused disruption of Rajya Sabha proceedings, CPI (M) said on Thursday.
“Those who violate the constitutional guarantees and the Indian Penal Code, particularly elected BJP ministers and MPs, must be punished for their crimes”.
“The Prime Minister refused to give any such assurance on the floor of the House. This is what has caused the disruptions in Rajya Sabha,” senior CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said.
Such “provocative” statements continued to be made even after Modi’s disapproval of Minister of State Niranjan Jyoti’s controversial remarks earlier in Parliament, he said.
“It is the government’s obduracy in not promising to take action against its MPs, ministers and spokesmen who, in the pursuit of its real hidden Hindutva agenda, provoked this turmoil. Blaming Opposition is a classic example of ‘pot calling the kettle black’,” Yechury said in an editorial in the latest issue of CPI(M) organ ‘People’s Democracy’.
Earlier, Modi was “forced to come and make a statement regretting the remarks made by a minister of state who called people opposing the BJP ‘names’ in unparliamentary language.
“He refused to tender an apology and finally had to accept a resolution moved by the Chair reflecting the sense of the House disapproving such comments,” he said.
Despite PM’s brief intervention “however sanitised they may have been”, the RSS-BJP leaders at the highest level “continue to make provocative statements sharpening communal polarisation across the country,” he said.
Referring to the remarks of RSS chief in Kolkata and BJP president in Kerala pledging to continue the campaign of religious reconversion, the CPI(M) leader said “thus they ensured disruption of the last two days of Rajya Sabha.”
Noting that the threat to India’s secular democratic republic was “multiplying”, Yechury said “it is no longer only a combination of rabid communal polarisation joining with aggressive pursuit of neo-liberal economic reforms any more.
“These two are now combined with growing authoritarian trends like the resort to ‘ordinance raj’. Thus, both secularism and democracy – the foundations of our republic – will increasingly come under greater threat. This has to be foiled,” he said.