On Wednesday, Congress chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his silence on the latest crisis in Kashmir.
This is not the first time, Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have faced the opposition’s criticism for not speaking up on key issues.
Government managers like information and broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu countered these allegations, saying the PM is not supposed to give a running commentary. The BJP and the government insisted that PM Modi has spoken when it was necessary.
It may be an irony that during the UPA era, the BJP constantly accused the then PM Manmohan Singh of keeping silent even as allegations of scams broke one after another.
Here’s a look at the instances when the opposition slammed the government and demanded Modi must speak:
1) July 2016: Kashmir turned into a volatile battleground between security forces and locals after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani . In both houses of Parliament, debates take place but the PM decides against participating.
2) February 2016: Amid the raging controversy over Dalit scholar Rohit Vemulla’s suicide and later after the arrest of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, the students’ politics snowballed into a major political controversy . Even as the Opposition upped its ante, the PM kept his silent, allowing other ministers to counter charges.
3) June 2015: When the controversy came to light that the government helped former cricket administrator Lalit Modi, the opposition smelled a scam. It blocked Parliament proceedings for days, demanding an explanation from Modi but the PM didn’t oblige them. The opposition also slammed the PM for not addressing the issue even in his monthly radio address, Mann ki Baat.
4) October 2015: The lynching of a Muslim man, Mohammad Ikhlaq, in Dadri over allegations that he had consumed beef, erupted into a major row. The opposition demanded that the PM should speak out against such incidents of hate crime but he maintained his silence.
5) December 2014: After RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat asked all political parties to support an anti-conversion bill sparking outrage in political circles, the opposition urged the PM to clarify the government’s position. But Modi did not speak.