Following criticisms from opposition parties about the “majoritarian rule” of the Narendra Modi administration at the Center, the ruling BJP defends itself by pointing to the achievements of Abdul Kalam and Manmohan Singh.
Parties trading insults
The ruling BJP and opposition parties engaged in a verbal spat as Indian-origin Rishi Sunak was appointed as the Prime Minister of UK, on Monday. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Dr. Manmohan Singh’s appointment as president and prime minister of the nation were mentioned by the BJP, while the opposition criticized the majoritarian nature of the Modi government.
Moreover, the BJP rejected any comparisons made between the selection of Mr. Sunak as the leader of Britain’s ruling party and the rejection of Sonia Gandhi, an Italian-born politician, for the position of prime minister in 2004.
BJP’s response on Twitter
Vijay Chauthaiwale, chairman of the BJP’s foreign relations department, responded to a Twitter user by highlighting the difference between “UK-born Rishi with Indian ancestry” and “Italy-born Sonia (who refused to accept Indian citizenship for several decades after marriage with Rajiv Gandhi).
Criticisms from regional party leaders
Mehbooba Mufti, the president of the PDP and a former chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, and Mohua Moitra, MP of the TMC, were also among those who criticized the BJP. Sunak’s promotion, according to Mufti, should serve as a reminder that although Britain has accepted an ethnic minority as its prime minister, “we are still chained by divisive and discriminatory policies like NRC and CAA.”
Response from BJP Ministers
Ravi Shankar Prasad, former law minister and BJP leader, strongly objected by challenging Mehbooba to accept a minority as the leader of Jammu and Kashmir. Amit Malviya, the head of the BJP’s IT department, pointed out that, India had three Muslim presidents, one Sikh president, and a Sikh prime minister over the past ten years. Additionally, there are also minorities holding important positions in the judiciary as well as armed forces.
“We don’t need to study diversity and inclusivity in any other nation. But Mehbooba needs to back a Hindu for J&K’s chief executive officer,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Statements of Congress Ministers
The Congress criticism was toned down after it made the same point as Mufti. Congress leader P Chidambaram said. “First Kamala Harris, now Rishi Sunak. The minority citizens of the US and the UK have won the support of their populations and have been elected to prominent positions, Indian parties that promote majoritarianism have a lesson to learn.”
“I think every Indian must admit that the British have done something very remarkable this week, to put a member of a minority community in the most important post,” said Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. Let’s be sincere and question, while we celebrate Rishi Sunak’s rise “Can something like that happen here? In our own country?”, he added
“Can you imagine the BJP considering an overt Christian or an overt Muslim who is public about his/her faith as a suitable candidate to lead India? There isn’t a single Muslim MP in India’s ruling BJP which promotes the idea of Hindutva” or “Hindu nationalism” Tharoor said.
After Sonia Gandhi led a Congress alliance to victory and was widely expected to become prime minister, Shashi Tharoor recalled “public fulminations” about Sonia Gandhi’s Italian and Christian heritage. She moved out of Manmohan Singh’s way. He recalls Sushma Swaraj of the BJP, who later became India’s foreign minister, making a threat to shave her head if Sonia Gandhi becomes prime minister of India.
“I feel we need to acknowledge the fact that even after a history of overt racism, the British have decided to appoint a brown-skinned Hindu as their Prime Minister. Their worst traits have grown out of them,” Shashi Tharoor said.
AICC General Secretary Jairam Ramesh’s statements
When asked about Chidambaram and Tharoor’s comments, Jairam Ramesh responded, “You should ask them, I won’t comment on any other leader’s statements. “Those who receive a mandate will become prime minister,” Ramesh continued.
We are pleased that Sunak has been appointed prime minister by the UK. Since, we have demonstrated for many years that we accept diversity and accord everyone equal rights, we do not need to learn from other nations. Our society is called unity in diversity. Diversity will help to strengthen our society, he asserted.
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