NEW DELHI: Seeking to blunt the opposition attack over cow vigilantism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday sought to put the onus for checking such “hooliganism” on state governments, insisting that they take “stringent action” against them.
The Prime Minister also sought the support of opposition parties in tackling “communal violence” in the name of cow protection, and deprecated attempts at giving political or communal colour to the issue.
“All political parties should collectively denounce hooliganism in the name of cow protection. The state governments should take stringent action against such anti-social elements,” Modi said in a series of tweets.
Earlier in the day, he told an all-party meeting on the eve of the start of the Monsoon Session of Parliament that maintaining law and order was the responsibility of state governments, which should take strict action against perpetrators of such incidents.
“Cow is treated as a mother and it is an emotive issue. But we have to understand that there are laws governing cow protection and breaking it is not an alternative,” Modi tweeted after the meeting. He said some anti-social elements were using cow protection as “a tool to spread anarchy.” “Some people who want to damage the social fabric of the country are also taking advantage of it.” Modi said such incidents sullied the image of the country. “State governments must ensure the maintenance of law and order and strict action must be taken against those who break the law,” an official statement quoted Modi having told the meeting.
The statements assume significance in context of the recent incidents of violence in different parts of the country in the name of cow protection.
Opposition parties have attacked the BJP over the cases of cow vigilantism in which Muslims and Dalits have often been targeted. These parties have also planned to raise the issue during the Parliament session.
The Prime Minister also urged all parties to extend their support to the government in fighting corruption.
Apparently hinting at Trinamool Congress and RJD on the issue of corruption, the Prime Minister said the political class should join hands against those who seek an escape route by dubbing action against them in graft cases as a political conspiracy.
“When law takes its course against those who loot the nation, we have to unite against those who seek an escape route by dubbing such an action as a political conspiracy,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
In his speech, Modi also referred to the presidential poll to be held on Monday and said it would have been better had there been a consensus on the candidate. He, however, said “high level of dignity” has been maintained by both sides during the campaign and there was no ill will and foul language was not used. He also called upon all political parties to ensure that everyone votes and no vote is wasted.
While the ruling BJP-led NDA has named Ram Nath Kovind its candidate, the Congress-led group of opposition parties has fielded former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar. Kovind has a big numerical advantage over his rival.