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Rahul Gandhi questions silence on Jharkhand lynching

The brutal lynching of this young man by a mob in Jharkhand is a blot on humanity: Congress president

By Sanjay K. Jha in New Delhi
  • Published 26.06.19, 6:49 AM
  • Updated 26.06.19, 6:49 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Rahul Gandhi A file picture

The Congress on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared to still be in campaign mode trying to confuse and mislead the people with hollow rhetoric and new promises, instead of getting down to the serious business of governance and solving the real problems.

The Congress leadership was particularly critical of the Prime Minister’s silence on the death of over 150 children in Bihar and the recurrence of communal violence after the formation of the new government.

Rahul Gandhi pointed out the silence of the government and the top BJP leadership on the lynching of a young man in Jharkhand.

Tagging a report on the incident, Rahul tweeted: “The brutal lynching of this young man by a mob in Jharkhand is a blot on humanity. The cruelty of the police who held this dying boy in custody for 4 days is shocking as is the silence of powerful voices in the BJP-ruled Central & State governments.”

Rahul waited for the Prime Minister’s first speech in Parliament before reacting.

The Congress leadership, too, has been under attack for its silence and political inaction since the general election defeat. It had so far done little to protest the lynching. On Tuesday, the party posted this message on its official website: “It’s been one month and 14 hate crimes since BJP took to power for their second term. The Government should admit that hate crimes have skyrocketed under their rule and must come up with a plan to put an end to such barbarianism.”

It added: “In the last five years, India has seen a disturbing trend of heinous crimes acted upon minority groups and the Government remained silent. The new BJP Government must take serious action to end mob lynching & hate crimes before India turns into the hate capital of the world.”

Responding to the Prime Minister’s reply to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address in the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury lamented that Modi chose not to send out a strong message to the country that communal violence will not be tolerated and nobody should denigrate the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, by hailing his assassin, Nathuram Godse.

“No growth and development is possible without peace. The Prime Minister should have firmly dealt with this issue of social tension and asked his supporters not to create trouble,” he said.

Chowdhury told The Telegraph: “Modi has this habit of constantly remaining in campaign mode. He has won the election but continues to be in campaign mode by misleading people. He knows the art of confusing the people; his speech is all about style and rhetoric. But that is okay in election speeches. On such serious occasions in Parliament, content matters.”

Chowdhury added: “The focus should have been on burning issues. Half of the country is grappling with drought. Over 150 children died in Bihar. But there is no mention. Modiji is weaving dreams. His first term was a failure as he couldn’t deliver on his promises. He is making new promises instead of telling the nation how to create jobs, how to solve farmers’ problems. He doesn’t answer questions about succumbing to the US pressure on purchasing oil from Iran. We are deeply disappointed.”

The Congress leader, however, said he felt vindicated because Modi was compelled to take the names of other leaders and other parties on Tuesday and even quote Jawaharlal Nehru. He said: “I had yesterday criticised the tendency to take credit for everything and spread the falsehood that nothing happened in the last 60 years before Modiji arrived. He didn’t repeat that charge and the tenor of his speech was different….”