Accusing Congress of delaying the arrest of MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, BJP on Tuesday alleged that the Centre maintained 'double-standards' by giving 'protection' to such people while cracking down on peaceful protesters like Ramdev and Anna Hazare.
"BJP strongly condemns the Centre and the Andhra Pradesh Congress government for acting as helping hands for MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi to become a hero out of his hate speech," party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
He alleged that Congress had delayed the arrest of Owaisi as the party depends on MIM support in Hyderabad. "We have doubts about Congress' intentions and policies," he told reporters in New Delhi.
Owaisi, facing multiple cases for his alleged hate speech, was today arrested by Andhra Pradesh Police. He was earlier subjected to medical examination at the Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.
BJP alleged that Owaisi made such statements every three months as a part of a "political strategy".
The main opposition said instead of arresting Owaisi promptly after his return from London, the government allowed a "heroic welcome" and gave him police protection. "This is a dubious and condemnable act," Javadekar said.
He maintained that as per the criminal procedure, Owaisi should have been arrested upon arrival and presented before a court and only then given medical treatment, if at all required. BJP criticised the government for "delay" in arresting Owaisi and allowing him to use "ill-health as an alibi".
"The double standards of the Congress government is writ large by the fact that Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his supporters who were holding a peaceful protest were lathicharged in a midnight crackdown and Anna Hazare was arrested to prevent him from participating in a hunger strike," Javadekar said.
He also said that a man in Pudducherry was arrested for tweeting against Union Minister P Chidambaram's son Karti.
BJP alleged that in the cases of Owaisi and Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the government gives them "wilful protection" instead of arresting them. "Geelani had given a hate speech in Lutyen's Delhi," he said, adding that he was not arrested.