While the BJP called the Congress protest on Friday a ploy to shield the Gandhis from the National Herald corruption probe, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath linked the agitation by Congress leaders in black clothes to the “appeasement” politics alleging the protest was planned on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation of Ram Janambhoomi temple in 2020.
“The Congress chose this day for protest and wore black clothes because they want to give a subtle message to further promote their appeasement politics,” said Shah.
“It is because on this day itself the PM laid the foundation of Ram Janambhoomi... Such acts of the Congress party have insulted the faith of India,” Shah said.
Everybody saw protests from Congress leaders of late in regular clothes but they especially chose black clothes for Friday agitation as Modi peacefully resolved an over 550-year-old dispute which was associated with the faith of crores of people, Shah told reporters.
The Congress is conveying its Opposition to the temple construction and the issues of ED action and price rise are only excuses, he claimed and added that as the Opposition party could not have openly expressed its opposition to the temple, it has tried to give a hidden message. Yogi too termed the Congress protests as an “insult to Ram Bhakts”.
“Till now, the Congress was protesting in normal attire but today they protested wearing black clothes. It’s an insult to Ram Bhakts. They chose this day as today’s Ayodhya Diwas which marks the beginning of construction of Ram Janambhoomi,” he said.
“Such acts of the Congress party have insulted the faith of India. The Congress’ attitude has insulted Ayodhya Diwas along with insulting India’s democracy and judiciary. We condemn such acts of the party,” said the Chief Minister of UP.
Earlier, the BJP slammed the protest staged by the Congress leadership , saying the issues of price rise, GST and unemployment were just a pretence and the real reason behind the stir was to save the Gandhi family from the corruption charges in the National Herald case. Getting back at the Congress after Rahul Gandhi attacked the Modi Government saying India is witnessing “death of democracy”, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad reminded the Opposition party of its history.
“Rahul’s grandmother imposed an Emergency in the country. During the Emergency, big journalists were sent to jail. She spoke of a committed judiciary. Do you remember anything? You give us the advice of democracy. Is there democracy in your party?” the BJP MP said, dismissing Rahul’s charge that “India is witnessing the death of democracy”. Prasad also alleged that during the takeover of the National Herald newspaper, assets worth Rs 5,000 crore were claimed for Rs 5 lakh with Sonia and Rahul having 76 per cent majority share in Young India which acquired it. The National Herald case is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and both Sonia and Rahul have been interrogated by the Central investigating agency.
Prasad said the price rise protest is essentially aimed at “saving” the Gandhi family from corruption charges and asked Rahul not to blame Indian democracy for his party’s repeated poll defeats under him. “Why do you blame democracy when the people of India reject you with repeated regularity and you go on losing one election after another ,” he said and asked Rahul if there is democracy within his party which has some “good leaders” but it is all about the Gandhi family. “Stop demeaning the institutions of India to safeguard your corruption and misdeeds... If people don’t listen to you, why are you blaming us,” he said. “If India saw dictatorship, it was during the Emergency when people, including opposition leaders and editors, were jailed, judges superseded and censorship imposed. Indira Gandhi had then spoken about having “committed judiciary,” the former Law Minister said.
In the National Herald case, Prasad said the judiciary refused to quash charges against the Gandhis and Rahul had the temerity of blaming the institutions, the BJP leader said.
Rahul will have to face consequences for what he has done, Prasad said. adding, “You will have to face trial and answer the ED’s questions.”
Union Minister Anurag Thakur also said the protests by the Congress from Parliament to the streets cannot turn the “truth” of corruption charges against its leaders into a lie.
“They are trying to apply pressure on the Government and probe agencies after doing corruption. The BJP came to power in 2014 and had promised to give corruption-free governance. This is what Modi has delivered in eight years. Probe agencies are now working against corruption done earlier,” he said. Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra should not obstruct the ED’s work, Thakur said, claiming the agency works under no political pressure and functions independently.
Both Prasad and Thakur also referred to the allegations of corruption against other opposition leaders, including those from the Aam Aadmi Party and the Trinamool Congress. Large amounts of cash and other assets allegedly acquired by them have been seized by the ED, they said. Prasad said Rahul had levelled all kinds of allegations against Modi during the 2019 polls as well, but people elected him (Modi) with a bigger mandate. Rahul during the price-rise protest maintained that the country is witnessing “the demise of democracy” and what India started building brick by brick a century ago is being destroyed.