Attacks On Africans Have Racial Overtones, PM Must Break Silence: Congress

NEW DELHI: Congress on Tuesday came down hard on the government over attacks on African nationals, saying such incidents have racial overtones, and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi break his silence on the issue.

The party also demanded Union Minister VK Singh, who made controversial comments on the issue, be “reined in” and Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar be dismissed for pitching for a strict law to deport Nigerians.

Party’s senior spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters that the government should have intervened after the first incident, given the fact that the attacks had “racial overtones and one cannot be in the denial mode”. He alleged the government allowed the situation to deteriorate.

He said the attacks have rattled the international community and the Prime Minister should take immediate corrective measures or else it would have adverse consequences for Indians living in African countries.

Noting that President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari have already expressed their anguish and outrage over the attacks, Mr Sharma said the Prime Minister should now give a “pause to his self-propaganda” and comment on it.

The government should realise that India and Africa have a special relationship as the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru strove for Afro-Asian solidarity when the people of Africa were struggling against colonialism and apartheid, the Congress leader said.