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Amnesty row: Jaitley accuses Congress of vote bank politics, says 'azadi' slogans not freedom of speech

Jammu: In a clear reference to the Amnesty International row, union minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday asserted that 'azadi' slogans cannot be treated as freedom of speech and slammed Congress and its Karnataka government, accusing them of indulging in vote bank politics over the issue.

"Four days ago, in the capital of Karnataka, during a programme in Bangalore, 'azadi' (freedom) slogans were raised by a few people. An organisation, which gets funding from abroad, organised the event and yesterday I read the statement of Karnataka Home Minister in which he said that whatever happened is nothing wrong," Jaitley said.

Jammu: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses during BJP Tiranga Yatra rally as part of 70th Independence Day celebrations at Smailpur in Bari Brahmana, Jammu on Sunday. PTI Photo (PTI8_21_2016_000079B) *** Local Caption ***

He said that Congress and its vice-president Rahul Gandhi had extended support to the youth who had raised anti-India slogans then. PTI

"After so many sacrifices this country has made, some political parties do it for vote bank politics,” he added at a rally on the outskirts of Jammu city.

While talking about this matter, the finance minister recalled a similar incident in JNU in January and said raising slogans to advocate the disintegration of the country cannot be seen as freedom of speech as advocated by some.

"When in Delhi, inside JNU, slogans for disintegration of India were raised, we were the only party within and outside Parliament to say that it was wrong. It is not freedom of speech.., he said.

He said Congress and its vice-president Rahul Gandhi had extended support to the youth who had raised anti-India slogans then.

"Many political parties and Congress vice president went to the support of those youth (who raised the slogans) at JNU. This ideology for the vote bank politics is unfortunate,” he said.

Updated Date: Aug 21, 2016 16:25 PM

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