PM Modi has broken his silence on the Dadri lynching incident, addressing the issue directly for the first time. He termed the incident as “unfortunate”. This, PM Modi said in an interview to Ananda Bazar Patrika.
He also chose to comment on Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali, whose concerts in Mumbai and Pune were cancelled after threats and protests by Shiv Sena.
“The Dadri incident or opposition to Pakistani singer is undesirable and unfortunate. But what is the central government’s relation with these incidents”, PM Modi said in the interview to the Bengali daily.
Prime Minister Modi also accused the Opposition of indulging in pseudo secularism and practicing and promoting politics of polarisation.
“BJP never supported such kind of incidents. The Opposition is raising the bogey of communalism against BJP bringing those incidents, but are they themselves not doing politics of polarization?” the PM questioned.
“Such debate has taken place in the past. BJP has always opposed pseudo-secularism. Now again this debate is taking place in the face of unfortunate social malaise…. This debate can be resolved through dialogue and discussion,” PM Modi added.
This is the first time that the Prime Minister has spoken directly on the Dadri incident, where a 50-year-old man was lynched to death over rumours that he ate beef.
Last week, in an election rally in Bihar, PM Modi appealed for communal harmony without naming any particular incident. He had also referred to the President’s speech where Pranab Mukherjee called for maintaining India’s core values of tolerance and mutual respect.
The PM has been under severe attack from the Opposition for staying “silent” on the issue.
However Congress, the main Opposition party has hit back saying the PM can’t wash his hands off the incident.
“I believe it is not appropriate to wash your hands by saying the new government has no role to play,” Congress leader Sachin Pilot said.
“I think they are trying to trivialise the issue. I think the unfortunate lynching and the death of the gentleman in Dadri is symbolic of the systematic decay in our social fabric that is being accentuated by the new government,” Pilot lashed out.
PM Modi’s statement on the incident comes a day after BJP President Amit Shah condemned the incident as “wrong” and said that the perpetrators should be punished. Like PM Modi, Amit Shah also blamed the state machinery for the incident.
“Whoever has done….this is wrong. They should be arrested and punished,” Shah told India Today news channel.
“…BJP should not be dragged into the issue, saying it was a law and order matter which is the responsibility of the state government….Where did the murder take place? It is the responsibility of the Samajwadi Party government (to maintain law and order),” Shah said on being asked how the BJP can respond to it.
(With inputs from PTI)