Patna: Hitting out at the Centre for abolition of 'triple talaq' and introduction of a Uniform Civil Code, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday said the move was aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear directed against Muslims to reap electoral benefits.
"By seeking abolition of triple talaq and imposition of Uniform Civil Code, Modi and the BJP are trying to create an atmosphere of fear against Muslims, so that they could create a communal frenzy in the country to reap benefits in the next general elections," he told reporters in Patna.
Singh was on a day-long visit to Bihar to appear in a four-year-old case of making alleged derogatory remarks against Yoga guru Ramdev, in which a court in Vaishali district granted him bail.
Launching a frontal attack on Modi for questioning the justification of triple talaq and backing empowerment of Muslim women recently, the Congress General Secretary said, "The Prime Minister talks about empowerment of Muslim women, but has himself failed to do so."
He was referring to Modi's separation from his wife decades ago.
The Congress leader said the triple talaq issue should be left to religious leaders of the respective communities, as the Constitution provides every citizen the right to practice his religion or such beliefs of one's choice.
On BJP's stand that a number of Muslim countries have banned triple talaq, Singh said he was aware that as many as 22 countries had banned the practice.
However, these countries should also leave the issue to the people to decide, he said.
On the Uniform Civil Code, Singh said the proposal should be debated under the ambit of Article 25 (every individual is equally entitled to freedom of conscience) and Article 26 (freedom to manage religious affairs subject to public order, morality and health), and a consensus should be built after discussion among all political parties.
Singh charged Modi and his government with creating a "frenzied atmosphere" in the country to deflect attention from failures of the NDA government on all fronts during its rule of over two and a half years.
"The NDA government has failed on all fronts, be it creation of two crore jobs, bringing black money from abroad and distributing Rs 15 lakh to each person or to boost manufacturing sector on the theme of 'Make in India", Singh said.
This is the reason why, he alleged, that religious issues were being deliberately pursued to deflect attention from "real" issues.
He claimed that on the recent surgical strikes against Pakistan-terror camps, the Congress had backed the NDA government, but objected to the "undue political advantage the ruling party was trying to reap out of it."
He also decried the Prime Minister and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for "politicising" the strikes with the latter claiming the they were carried out to translate RSS ideology into action.
"The surgical strikes have not happened for the first time...even the UPA government carried out strikes across the LOC, but refrained from taking political advantage," he said.
"However, by keeping the discussion on the surgical strikes alive, it appears that the Prime Minister will take India to war with Pakistan in the times to come," Singh said.
On the political situation in Uttar Pradesh, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said that whatever had been happening was the internal affair of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP).
"The political clash among the SP leaders is an internal matter of the party that is bereft of ideology," he stated.
On the speculation doing rounds that the wedge between SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav may prompt the latter to stitch an alliance with the Congress, Singh said that such talks were "premature".
He said that there was no political crisis in Uttar Pradesh as far as he was concerned.
"The Congress is going alone in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls due early next year," Singh said, adding that party vice-president Rahul Gandhi has successfully toured the poll-bound state and "received massive response of the people" which bodes well for the party.
Singh said the Congress has already started the process of selection of its candidates for the Assembly polls. He added that the party was keeping a close watch on the political developments unfolding in the northern state.
On the raging debate over various political parties declaring their respective prime ministerial candidates, the senior Congress leader felt that there was nothing wrong in the exercise as every party was within their rights to do so.
"What is wrong if political parties so decide to declare their prime ministerial candidates?...let them do so," he said in a reply to a question on the JD(U) declaring its national president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as the prime ministerial material for the next general elections.
Asked if the declaration of so many prime ministerial candidates by the secular parties will affect Rahul Gandhi's prospects, Singh said Gandhi remained his party's leader.
On MNS president Raj Thackeray opposing the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starring a Pakistani actor, Singh lashed out at the leader for meddling in the matter, saying that the said Pakistani actor was granted visa by the Indian government.
The Maharashtra Chief Minister should not have allowed Raj Thackeray to browbeat or blackmail the producers of the film over its release, the Congress leader added.
Updated Date: Oct 27, 2016 14:14 PM