New Delhi: Congress on Sunday slammed BJP over its alliance with PDP and SAD and asked the ruling party to “clear its stand” on Kashmiri separatist Masrath Alam’s controversial remarks and SGPC’s contentious commemoration of death anniversaries of Indira Gandhi’s assassins.
The party said there was a limit to “political opportunism” and responsibility in a coalition cannot be attributed to a single party only.
“Many questions have been raised, which are directly linked to the nation’s integrity and unity. BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should clear their stand on these issues. “They cannot say that these are the responsibilities only of their allies PDP and Akali Dal in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab (respectively). The principle is of collective responsibility in a coalition government. Responsibility in coalition cannot be attributed to a single party,” party spokesperson Anand Sharma said at AICC briefing in New Delhi.
Detailing the events, which drew the concern of Congress, Sharma said,”first credit was given to Pakistan and separatists for peaceful polls in Jammu and Kashmir. Then separatist Masrat Alam was released. Alam now calls Kashmir a territory occupied by India.
“SGPC’s ‘Nanakshahi’ calendar features anniversaries of assassins of Indira Gandhi and former Army chief Arun Vaidya as historical days. They also plan to celebrate the anniversaries of Indira Gandhi’s assassins Kehar Singh, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh as well as the assassins of General Vaidya.”
These days figure in the ‘Nanakshahi’ calendar of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for years. Reports had it that this year these controversial celebrations seem set to be held in Delhi also on the lines of what used to happen in Amritsar earlier.
The party was guarded in its response on the ‘Nanakshahi’ calendar issue and focused its attack primarily on BJP’s alliance, saying “BJP keeps aside principles to capture power.”
At the same time he said,”We do not want to say anything on Sikh leadership and management of the Gurudwara Committee.” Holding that BJP is in coalition with Akali Dal both in Punjab and at the Centre and hence it cannot attribute responsibility to just one party.
The Congress leader also took strong objection to Masrath Alam’s reported remarks that he had come up with a programme against the “occupation” of India in Kashmir.
Sharma asked,”Whether sedition is permissible and not adequate ground for agencies” to prosecute a person. He referred to earlier remarks of Home Minister that there was no fresh ground to book Alam further and hence he was released.
“There is a limit to political opportunism. Compromise with national security is not acceptable for formation of a government. After this comment, the Prime Minister and BJP should clear their stand,” he said.
Sharma said that foreign policy of the nation cannot be decided in common minimum programme of a coalition to form a government in state as “if this was done in one bordering state, tomorrow parties in all bordering states will start laying such conditions to form a government there.”
Linking the controversies to the pride of armed forces, Sharma accused the BJP of “paying only lip services” to them.
“These are disturbing trends. Such statements break the morale of our forces. They demoralise our armed forces about which the BJP only makes lip services. Compromise with the nation’s security is not acceptable,” he said.
Sharma also attacked BJP MP Subramanian Swami over his controversial remarks saying people like him make such irresponsible remarks just to remain in media glare. “I would like to ask whether the BJP endorses his views,” he asked adding that whatever Swami has been saying is part of a chain “orchestrated by the RSS” which is visible from controversial remarks by many leaders of RSS and BJP.
“Anybody questioning the pluralism of the country is hurting the nation’s fabric,” he said. Responding to a question about plans of beef ban in BJP-ruled Maharashtra and Haryana, Sharma said, “cow slaughter does not happen” in India and only the two states can explain what are they doing now.