PM should rein-in divisive elements: Azad

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Feb 29: Taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the JNU row, Congress today alleged that he was “responsible” for the events as he had failed to rein-in his party members who have been issuing inflammatory and divisive statements since BJP Government came to power.
Terming the action against JNU students as “one-sided”, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Prime Minister cannot “pick and choose” and questioned why he did not firmly deal with divisive elements within BJP.
“During an all-party meet, I told the Prime Minister that whatever is happening in JNU or has happened in Hyderabad, who is responsible for that.
“I said, in front of him, that Honourable Prime Minister if you do not take offence, it is you and your Government that are responsible for that,” the Congress general secretary told reporters here.
Azad said he told the Prime Minister that since the BJP came to power, Ministers, party functionaries, MPs and even Governors were issuing statements which lead to tension between Muslims and Hindus.
“So, I told him that we have been saying it inside Parliament as well as outside it that you say ‘sabka saath sabka vikaas’ everywhere, but if your party men, your Governor, your Ministers and your MPs issue statements of dividing the country, then somewhere you are involved in it.
“The head of the family has to decide whom to punish.
“When you will not punish anyone, like you have to drop or expel someone so that everyone will fall in line, when you do not do that, then you do not have any right over who raises slogans inside a university as your own party raises similar kind of slogans in other forms,” Azad said.
The leader of opposition said Congress condemns the slogans raised in JNU but punishment cannot be one-sided.
“We condemn the slogans raised in JNU, whoever it is whether a Hindu or a Muslim who has raised them, but it is your (PM’s) responsibility because you did not rein in your party.
“So, if anyone else raises similar kind of slogans, you charge him with sedition but there is no action on your own people. This is one-sided. So, the Prime Minister and the Government are responsible for this,” Azad said.
The Congress leader said the Prime Minister cannot “pick and choose”.
“Whether it is a Hindu or Muslim or someone from Congress, BJP, Left or right in our country, whoever the people of country repose their trust and vote him to become the Prime Minister… He should not indulge in pick and choose. He will have to take severe action if his own party men say something wrong. But that is not happening,” Azad said.
“There would be a privilege motion against HRD Minister Smriti Irani. She said some 2-3 things especially in the Lok Sabha on which there is contradiction,” Azad said.
“The family (of Rohith) also said police as well as the doctor were present there…. The doctor contradicted her (the Minister), the police contradicted her and his mother contradicted her.
“So, obviously, there will be a privilege motion. Everything is recorded on both sides. So this is a fit case for privilege (motion),” Azad said.
The Congress leader defended his party colleague and former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram over his statement on Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru who was hanged inside Tihar Jail on February 9, 2013.
“I have heard that interview. He says that he was part of the process. It was our Government that hanged Guru. Our Government recommended, so where is the question.
“He said that there might be a perception. So, he was talking about general perception,” Azad said.
He said this perception is “not new as it happens worldwide”.
“The judiciary is divided, lawyers are divided, the public is divided, so he (Chidambaram) was talking in general that there is a perception and it is not about one person.
“When perception is discussed world over, some are in favour of life imprisonment, some of hanging and this is nothing new. He has not said that it was wrong,” the Congress leader said.
Attacking HRD Minister Irani over Rohith issue, Azad said, “She said that no doctor was allowed to reach the spot after Rohith hanged himself. But the Chief Medical Officer, who lives in the university premises, came out with a statement that the Minister was lying.

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