Congress dismisses Modi’s lynching statement as empty rhetoric

New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched upon important issues concerning the nation including mob lynchings, women empowerment and economic growth, Congress on Monday dismissed his statements as empty rhetoric.

Modi had said the Opposition should not reduce cases of mob lynchings and rapes to mere statistics and indulge in politics over them.

“It would be a great travesty to reduce these incidents to mere statistics and then indulge in politics over them. That shows a kind of perverse mindset that looks at violence and criminality as something to be milked, instead of unitedly opposing. Even a single incident is one too many and deeply unfortunate. My party and I have spoken in clear words, on multiple occasions against such actions and such a mindset,” Modi told ‘The Times of India’ in an email interview.

Reacting to that, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said PM’s description of every lynching incident as “one too many” was sad and uncalled for.

Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed said “if the PM is really sincere and the incidents are continuing for four years, he is proven to be very weak, ineffective”.

Janata Dal Secular leader Danish Ali said it was wrong to accuse anyone of politics but the rise in incidents of mob lynching was alarming.

“There is one question. Why is it that lynching has become so common in the last four years? Why PM Modi was silent when one of his ministers Jayant Sinha garlanded convicts in a mob violence case after they were released on bail?,” Ali asked.

Political commentator Vivek Saksena criticised Modi for “reacting late” on the issue of mob violence.

“As per data compiled by Home Ministry, 45 persons were killed in 40 cases of lynching in nine states between 2014 and March 2018. If this data is not alarming, then what is. Prime Minister should have broken his silence much earlier and addressed the issue sincerely,” Saksena told Gulf News.

Referring to changes in law in order to make provisions of capital punishment in certain category of crimes against women, Modi said the situation was changing after all.

In a separate interview to news agency ANI, Modi had addressed the issue of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and said that “no citizen of India will have to leave the country.”

“I want to assure the people that no citizen of India will have to leave the country. As per the due process, all possible opportunities will be given to get their concerns addressed. The NRC was a promise of ours, which we are fulfilling under the guidance of the Supreme Court. It is not about politics but about people,” Modi said.

He flayed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her remarks that the exclusion of 4 million people in Assam in NRC list would lead to “bloodbath”.

“Only those who have lost faith in themselves, fear the loss of popular support and lack faith in our institutions can use words like ‘civil war’ and ‘bloodbath.’ Evidently, they are disconnected from the pulse of the nation,” the PM said.

He also accused Congress of playing politics over NRC.

“Former PM Rajiv Gandhi signed the Assam Accord, the Congress did nothing to formulate the NRC and kept misleading people. The roots of the NRC go back three decades when Rajiv Gandhi had to bow to public pressure and sign the Assam Accord. Since then Assam voted Congress several times but the party did nothing about it and kept misleading the people,” Modi said.

In his interview, Modi said the outcome of recent no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) and election for deputy chairperson of Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) were two events that indicated that the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was strong and intact.

“The outcome of these two events should indicate which coalition is intact and which is falling apart. In fact, we got support even from those parties which are not our allies. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has consistently expanded its ase over recent years among people and welcomed more allies to NDA,” he said.

The PM said that the economy was growing at a faster pace and hence, the jobs market was bound to expand.

“The mobile manufacturing units have grown from just two in 2014 to 120 today. Employment generation is also evident from 4.5 million new subscribers in the Employee Provident Fund and 568,000 people joining the New Pension Scheme in the last nine months. All this has led to the creation of more than 10 million jobs only in the last year. Thus, the campaign that jobs have not been created must come to a halt now. People are not going to buy it anymore,” he said.

Reacting to that, Congress spokesperson Khera said the prime minister would not be allowed to hoodwink the country anymore.

“He is the Prime Minister, he cannot hoodwink the country like this. Even when he was asked to point out his three big achievements, he could not. Imagine he could not speak about his three achievements even after four years in power,” Khera said.

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