NEW DELHI: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday asked protesting intellectuals to discuss their apprehensions with the government, even as he offered to order a CBI probe into incidents like Dadri and rationalist Kalburgi’s murder.
Participating in the debate on ‘intolerance’ in the Lok Sabha, he declared that anyone trying to disturb harmony would not be spared. However, Congress, Left, Trinamool, NCP and AAP in the Opposition staged a walkout claiming he was not addressing the real issue.
The Home Minister, whose responsibility was to articulate the government’s stance, followed a two-point strategy. During the first half of his speech, he questioned those who have attacked the government on intolerance, terming the protests selective and in the second half, he explained the steps taken to prevent communal incidents.
“I want to assure this House, on behalf of myself and the Prime Minister, that if anyone tries to harm the social and religious harmony, he will not be spared... I appeal to all MPs and the people of this country to join hands in strengthening the spirit of tolerance,” he said.
He asserted, “If our government is at all intolerant, we are intolerant towards corruption, terrorism, filth, poverty and atrocities against the poor, girls and women.”
Rajnath said it was his responsibility as Home Minister to deal with any issue of violence and not that of the PM. “When you ask why Narendra Modi has not spoken on the untoward incidents, I want to ask whether any of the previous Prime Ministers had ever commented on such incidents in the past,” he said.