BJP hits back at Cong over Sonia’s Raj dharma comment

Feb 28, 2020 11:57 PM IST

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday lashed out at the Congress for trying to teach it “raj dharma” (duty), pointing out how the grand old party’s record on this is “full of twists and turns”.

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A day after a Congress delegation led by its president Sonia Gandhi met President Ramnath Kovind to submit a memorandum demanding Union home minister Amit Shah’s resignation for “abdication of duty” during the communal violence in north-east Delhi, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the party, instead of trying to remind others about raj dharma, should clarify why it changes its position on issues.

Gandhi had reminded the Centre of its “raj dharma” to protect people of all faith in the country.

“I ask Sonia Gandhi, your senior leaders had a view about those persecuted in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Indira Gandhi had given help to people who fled from Uganda, Rajiv Gandhi had helped Tamils from Sri Lanka... Manmohan Singh had urged LK Advani that citizenship should be given, and Ashok Gehlot had written to the home ministers in both UPA and NDA for citizenship.. So has Tarun Gogoi....So what is this raj dharma that makes your party do flip flops,” he said.

The minister went on to accuse Gandhi of instigating people by making inflammatory comments at an anti CAA rally.

“The whole issue (CAA) was debated in Parliament, so why are you instigating people?” he asked, referring to a December rally when Gandhi allegedly made these comments.

Addressing the media, Prasad said the Congress has opted for a policy of changing its stance on policy issues. He said that on March 15, 2010, the UPA issued a notification on NPR (National Population Registry) and is now opposed to it. “...This was started by the Congress for the good of the country, but when they do it it’s allowed, when we say it, you instigate people,” he said.

“There is a lot that can be said about the record of the Congress party. The BJP condemns the Congress’s attempts are politicising the riots. The Congress prioritises the family and party and then the country,” Prasad added.

The BJP leader also distanced the party from the comments made by several of its leaders, including Kapil Mishra and junior finance minister Anurag Thakur, during the Delhi assembly elections that earned them the censure of the election commission.

In response to a question, Prasad said the party does not approve of the statements made by the leaders. “If senior leaders have publicly disapproved these comments that means a lot. The party , within its own internal system will respond to these situations,” Prasad said.

In response to a separate question on the transfer of Delhi High Court judge Justice S Muralidhar, the minister who holds the law portfolio said the transfer had nothing to do with any case, as a recommendation to this effect was already made by the Supreme Court collegium and the judge had also given his consent to his transfer.

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