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BJP sees 'patent appeasement'

The BJP counters the PM's remark that equity did not amount to appeasement of minorities, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2007 21:17 IST

The BJP countered Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remark that equity did not amount to appeasement of minorities, saying that "patent appeasement cannot be hidden behind the mask of equity."

Stating that the BJP wanted all Indians including the minorities to develop and contribute to the nation, the party said it was only against the "vote-bank politics" of the Congress, which sought to create alienation and envy among various communities.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said in the last 60 years of independent India, the Congress has directly or indirectly ruled for nearly 52 years in the country. "If inspite of this the condition of Muslim minority is not satisfactory then who must share the blame? Would the prime minister be honest in admitting this?"

Secondly, he said, "should we presume that the framers of the Constitution had no concern for equity when they decided not to have religion based" reservation. "What is the need to emphasise that the minorities have the first claim on national resources except to pander to patent appeasement?"

Prasad said, given their plight, the PM should state whether it was his case that all the previous Congress governments including one that were led by Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Narshimah Rao had no concern for equity.

"What the prime minister has to say to the public stand of AR Antulay, the minister for minority welfare, that the Congress is responsible for the plight of Muslims in India?"

Citing the instances of delay on Afzal Guru's hanging, earmarking loans and resources, religion-based headcount in Army, Prasad demanded to know under what doctrine of equity these instances fit in.

"The record of UPA is replete with blatant vote bank politics as would be evident from the fact that, inspite of IMDT being declared as unconstitutional and against national unity by the Supreme Court, it was brought again by back door on the eve of Assam election, which too was set aside by the court with serious comment against the government."

The BJP spokesperson said, "we have a peculiar situation when Subba, a sitting MP from Assam has been asked to prove his citizenship by the Supreme Court, whereas in case of illegal immigrants in Assam, the UPA government sought to create a situation where the administration had to prove that someone is not a citizen of India."

Prasad also referred to the religion based reservation by the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh for jobs and in the Aligarh Muslim University by the Centre in admissions. "These decisions have been declared as unconstitutional repeatedly by the court, but the urge continues in this direction, in view of approaching election in Uttar Pradesh."

First Published: Jan 24, 2007 20:23 IST