New Delhi, Oct 18
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Modi Government has finally woken up to the fact that provocative comments from its leaders on the beef controversy were taking the focus away from the agenda of development and creating an atmosphere of unease in the country. At a time when intelligentsia, writers, RTI activists and judges were up in arms against the government over growing “intolerance”, BJP President Amit Shah on Sunday pulled up its four senior leaders who have contributed to vitiate the atmosphere by making unsavory remarks aimed at the minority community.
The Government has been forced to act because the lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri, 60km from the national capital by a rightwing mob, created countrywide furore and invited sharp criticism in the international press as well. Two days ago, some people lynched a suspected cattle smuggler in Himachal Pradesh in horrific assertion of “mob’ justice. Rattled by these uneasy developments, first President Pranab Mukherjee and then Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the Dadri killing and spoke against such intolerance. But on Saturday, Panchjanya magazine, a mouthpiece of the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh, virtually justified the Dadri killing, citing Vedas to claim cow slaughter was a sin that must be punished.
The Government had to also face serious embarrassment when Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said those who want to consume beef should go to Pakistan.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n this backdrop, Shah summoned to his residence Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan, Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj and Uttar Pradesh MLA Sangeet Som, an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, and cautioned them against making comments that might derail the Modi government’s development agenda.
Sources said that the BJP President also called up Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma and reprimanded him for making controversial remarks.
Sources said that Shah told these leaders that their utterances had shifted the focus away from the failure of the Uttar Pradesh government (Dadri comes under Western UP) and placed the limelight on the BJP. He also reportedly conveyed that they Prime Minister was “extremely’ unhappy with them for making such comments.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] senior BJP leader also said that the Prime Minister was highly upset over the turn of events that followed the Dadri incident and feels that if the fringe outfits and BJP’s loudmouthed leaders were not tamed, his agenda of development could be a major casualty. The leader said that by reprimanding a Chief Minister and Union Ministers, the BJP president has sent a clear message that such “nonsense’ will not be tolerated in the future.
A section of the BJP and its allies were living and embossed over the growing influence of an ‘intolerant” fringe that was trying to dictate the culture and custom of the country. On Saturday, BJP’s oldest allies Shiromani Akali Dal said that the lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri last month over beef eating rumours was a “shame” for the country and reminded the Prime Minister that such incidents were damaging his reputation.
“What happened after the lynching incident in UP is damaging the NDA, the BJP and the Prime Minister,” SAD MP Naresh Gujral had said, adding,” these elements were even ignoring even Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s advice because no action was taken against them.”
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Congress has got a tailor-made opportunity to fish in troubled waters. “What is the point of closing stable door after horse has bolted? For 18 months such divisive and provocative statements and actions have been recurring with monotonous regularity. So, after 18 months Amit Shah has found time to chastise MPs and ministers.
“It is obviously an empty formality. Modi has still not found time and continues to practice deafening silence. This has been a mere gimmick far from solving issues which amounts to admission of guilt,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
Manohar Lal Khattar: Muslims can live in India but they will have to give up eating beef.
Sakshi Maharaj: Make a law that provides for death penalty for cow slaughter.
Mahesh Sharma: The murder was an accident.
Sangeet Som: The police was framing innocents, it could invite retaliation.
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