‘Pot calling the kettle black’: Venkaiah hits out at Rahul for disharmony comment

New Delhi:A day after Rahul Gandhi’s veiled attack on the BJP and Sangh Parivar, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday blasted him saying one who expresses solidarity with extremists, fundamentalists and communalists was trying to preach about the unity of the country despite having “no moral right” to do so.

Terming Rahul’s remarks as “the pot calling the kettle black”, Naidu also lashed out at the Congress and said its politics of appeasement and vote bank has widened the divide between majority and minority. He also asked why the party has encouraged fundamentalist and communal forces. Holding Congress responsible for complicating the Kashmir issue, the senior BJP leader accused it of being hard on nationalists, while going soft on terrorists.

Yesterday, while addressing a function in New Delhi, Rahul had made a veiled attack on the BJP and the Sangh Parivar, saying there are forces which are “promoting” disharmony and are seeking a “divided and divisive” India. Taking a strong exception to the remarks, Naidu said the Narendra Modi-led government was trying to bring social harmony and focusing on oneness in nation.

“The remarks are like the pot calling the kettle black. It is the Congress party which has preached, practiced divisive politics in the country in last 50 years and it has always encouraged fundamentalist forces and communal elements.

It has thrived its politics on caste, region and religion,” he alleged. “It is divisive politics coupled with vote bank politics practiced by Congress that has brought our country to the present situation,” Naidu alleged. “It is the appeasement politics of Congress that has widened the divide between majority and minority, though nothing worthwhile has been done to minorities…and it is the legacy of the Congress regime that has complicated the Kashmir issue,” he said. “Don’t raise an accusing finger against the BJP, it will boomerang on you. You have played vote bank politics; you never bothered to bring unity in the minds of the people; you have ruled the country for more than 50 years and ruined the country. How dare you criticise our ideology, you have no moral right to do that,” Naidu said.

Questioning Congress on what social harmony that the party has brought in all these years, Naidu asked who is responsible for the present state of affairs right from the practice of untouchability, to social disharmony amongst the people. “It is your politics, it is your divisive agenda which is responsible for the present situation,” he said.

“Our government came to power only two years back, we are steadfast working hard. The Prime Minister has brought in social security and we are trying to bring social harmony. We are focusing on oneness in nation and we are focusing on development and good governance by uplifting the poorest of poor, which is out priority,” Naidu added.

Alleging that Congress is silent on ISI, but violent on RSS, the former BJP president said, “You are hard on nationalists and soft on terrorists…that has been your line and now you try to criticise us forgetting what has been said by your leader.” He further said, “On issues relating to foreign affairs, we should all be extra careful, that means the country has to speak in one voice. But Congress itself is speaking in many voices.”

“I expect the Congress party to be more mature in responding to such situations where the unity and integrity of the country is involved and particularly dealing with terrorists and their sponsors,” he said.

“We should not fall prey to the tactics of our neighbour. Some of the statements made by Congress leaders may be music to Pakistan’s ears, but people of India are not willing to tolerate,” he said accusing Congress of being “consistently inconsistent” on critical national and international issues.

Accusing the Congress of sympathising with forces that celebrate and try to make icons of Kashmiri separatists, Naidu said, “You (Rahul) went to JNU to express solidarity with sympathisers of terrorists Yakub Memon, Makbul Bhat and Afzal Guru and others who always tried to wreck the country and its constitution, challenge the unity and integrity of the country.”

“Now you are sympathising with Amnesty International, who has provided a platform where divisive slogans and anti Indian slogans were raised.

“You supported such activities even in Hyderabad. You expressed solidarity with these extremists, Maoists, fundamentalist, communalists, who all came together to celebrate (the martrydom of) Yakub Memon and Makbul Bhat and Afzal Guru and now you try to preach us about the unity of the country and you accuse us that we are responsible for divisiveness.