On his last day in office, BJP attacks
Hamid Ansari for ‘minorities insecure’
In his parting interview to Rajya Sabha TV, vice president Hamid Ansari said a feeling of unease and insecurity is creeping in among Muslims in India. The comment drew reactions from many BJP leaders including the Prime Minister, who took subtle digs at the outgoing VP.
India’s next vice president Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday dismissed allegations of insecurity among Muslims as a political propaganda, a day after his predecessor Hamid Ansari flagged a “growing unease” among the country’s minority community.
Though Naidu did not name anyone, his comments are being seen as a response to Ansari, who told a government-run TV channel on Thursday that insecurity was creeping in among Muslims in India and that there was a breakdown of Indian values.
“Some people are saying minorities are insecure. It is a political propaganda. Compared to the entire world, minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due,” Naidu said.
Naidu’s political stand left many surprised as it came a day ahead of his swearing in to the country’s second-highest constitutional position, a post neutral of party affiliations.
In his parting interview to Rajya Sabha TV, Ansari also pointed out alleged failure of law enforcing agencies, seen as a reference to growing incidents of mob lynchings over cow smuggling.
Naidu, a former BJP president, cautioned against highlighting one community as it might result in adverse reaction from other communities.
“If you single out one community, other communities will take it otherwise. That is why we say all are equal. Appeasement for none, justice for all,” 68-year-old Naidu said.
Naidu the second leader with an RSS-BJP background to be elected VP after Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, also stressed that “India is secular not because of political leaders but because of its people and civilisation.”
The BJP lashed out at Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi took subtle digs at the outgoing VP.
“There might have been some uneasiness in you. But probably that worry will no longer be there for you. There will be the joy of freedom for you. You can act, think and talk according to your fundamental ideology,” Modi said during Ansari’s farewell, underlining that his ancestors were closely associated with the Congress.
“You have spent a large part of your diplomatic career in West Asia. After retirement, you worked in Minority Commission or Aligarh University, so your circle remained the same,” Modi added.