BJP will end minority appeasement: Rajnath

He says policy of minority appeasement was initiated by the Congress in 1916 and BJP will bring it to an end by 2016.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2006 19:41 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Rajnath Singh on Saturday criticised the Congress for what he termed as minority appeasement and said his party would put an end to it in a decade.

"The policy of minority appeasement was initiated by the Congress in 1916 and we will bring it to an end by 2016," he said in his presidential address immediately after his re-election to the office was formally ratified by the party's national council in Lucknow.

"Minority appeasement is not a new problem confronting Indian politics. But the new dimensions lent to it by the UPA (United Progressive Alliance, led by the Congress) government is taking a dangerous shape," Singh pointed out.

"The appeasement policies of the Congress touched the nadir when prime minister (Manmohan Singh) recently told a National Development Council meeting that the minority communities, particularly the Muslims, had the first right over the nation's resources.

"I would like to ask how a government working within the purview of the constitution can talk about granting the first right over the country's resources to one community, that too on a communal basis, when the constitution itself has given equal right to all communities over the same?" he asked.

Singh flayed the government for the delay in the execution of death sentence to Mohammed Afzal, convicted for his role in the December 2001 attack on parliament.

"Demands for saving Afzal, whose role has been established in the parliament attack case, from the gallows are shameful," he said.

Taking the Congress to the task for allegedly downplaying the centennial celebrations of national song "Vande Mataram" this year, he said: "It was ironical that the clarion call during the freedom struggle has today come to be identified as communal.

"The Congress itself had decided to commemorate the centenary of 'Vande Mataram'. Yet, both the prime minister and party president did not attend the celebration function."

The BJP chief was also critical of the UPA government's handling of terror.

"The situation today is such that terrorists are safe but the common man is sitting on a landmine. While Jehadi terrorism has firmed its grip from Ayodhya and Kashi to Delhi, Mumbai, Srinagar and Bangalore, the growing naxalite terrorism has spread its tentacles from Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa to Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh."

Alleging that the government's policies were posing a threat to the nation's security, sovereignty, unity and integrity, Singh warned: "If the government continues to move forward in this direction, it would become very difficult to save the nation from yet another partition."

He chided the Left allies of the Congress and Samajwadi Party for "minority appeasement".

Referring to the recently released Rajinder Sachar Committee report on the status of Muslims, Singh said: "The government must ponder as to why other minorities do not have the kind of grievances faced by the Muslims. If the Muslims are in this situation even after 59 years of independence, then aren't those people who governed this country for 53 out of 59 years responsible for it?"

First Published: Dec 23, 2006 19:41 IST