New Delhi: Addressing an all-party meeting on Sunday, ahead of Parliament’s monsoon session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioned those giving a political or communal colour to the issue of cow-vigilantism, and asked States to take action. “All governments should take stringent action against those violating law in the name of cow protection.”
The government has come under flak for violence propagated by vigilantes in the name of cow protection across the country, and the Opposition is planning to use it to its advantage in Parliament. Sensing the mood, Modi on Sunday sought the support of Opposition parties in tackling communal violence instigated by vigilantes.
“All political parties should collectively denounce hooliganism in the name of cow protection. State governments should take stringent action against such anti- social elements,” Modi tweeted. “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.”
Meanwhile, with Presidential polls to be held on Monday, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi described the contest as a fight against ‘narrow minded, divisive and communal vision.’ The numbers may be against us, she said, “but this battle must be fought, and fought hard.” Modi, at the all-party meeting, had said “it would have been better if there was consensus on candidate.”
The PM also urged all parties to extend support to his government’s fight against corruption. Taking a dig at Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Mamata Banerjee’s TMC, Modi said the political class should join hands against those seeking an escape route by dubbing action against them in graft cases as ‘political conspiracy.’ “When law takes its course against those who loot the nation, we have to unite...”
The Congress has made it clear that it would seek answers from the government on the ongoing border stand-off with China, worsening situation in Kashmir and mob lynching. “All roads for talks have been closed by the government on Kashmir. There is political suffocation,” said party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. According to agencies, 18 opposition parties have come together to take on the government in Parliament on issues like ill-effects of demonetisation, rushing through the GST implementation, farmers’ distress and suicides and alleged political vendetta.
Presidential polls today
Polls to elect the new President of India will be held on Monday and legislators have been barred from carrying their personal pens inside the voting chamber. They will have to mark their ballot with a specially-designed marker, the Election Commission said. The poll panel has also allowed 55 parliamentarians including UP CM Yogi Adityanath and his Goa CM Manohar Parrikar to vote in their State assemblies. NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind is pitted against former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar