Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde's letter directing chief ministers to be cautious while dealing with criminal suspects from the minority community amounted to vote bank politics and an attack on India's federal structure, BJP leader Narendra Modi said in Goa on Sunday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat chief minister was speaking at a pre-election rally at Merces village on the outskirts of Panaji.
"He (Shinde) says if you arrest criminals, then you make sure that Muslims are not arrested? Does a criminal have religion? Will criminality be decided on basis of religion," Modi said in his trademark rhetorical style, asking the audience to yell out responses to the questions.
After writing the letter to all chief ministers in September, Shinde last week said in New Delhi that he would write a similar letter to the chief ministers again asking them to ensure that minority community members were not unfairly treated like criminals.
"Law should be enforced in such a way that if someone is not guilty, then he should get justice. There should be no injustice because of religion," Modi said.
Claiming that law and order was a state subject, Modi said that by writing the letter on the minority issue, Shinde was attacking India's federal structure.
"Law and order is a state subject. Mr Shinde, you have no right to teach lessons in law and order sitting in Delhi. It is a direct attack on India's federal structure," Modi said.