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‘Absolutely humbug’: Opposition finds PM Modi’s denunciation of cow vigilantes insufficient

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to hit out at cow vigilantes after a prolonged silence, the Opposition today termed his statement against ‘gau rakshaks’ as "absolutely humbug", alleging that his ideological co-travellers were perpetrating
India TV Politics Desk New Delhi August 07, 2016 19:16 IST
India TV Politics Desk

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to hit out at cow vigilantes after a prolonged silence, the Opposition today termed his statement against ‘gau rakshaks’ as "absolutely humbug", alleging that his ideological co-travellers were perpetrating "terror" in the name of cow protection.

Congress leader Manish Tewari questioned Modi's "silence" on the Dadri lynching incident last year and alleged that the PM was selective in his outreach.

"Why does he not prevail upon RSS to disband the VHP, why does he not take action against the office bearers of Bajrang Dal?” Manish Tewari  asked. 

"Therefore it is his ideological co-travellers who have been perpetrating this spectre of uncertainty and terror in the name of cow lumpenism across the country, thereby whatever the Prime Minister says today is absolutely humbug and completely sanctimonious," Tewari said.

JD(U)  echoed similar sentiments, as its leader Pavan Verma said had the PM given a stern message earlier, the "menace" of gau rakshaks could have been prevented.

"If the Prime Minister had given the same message earlier, we would not have seen this menace of gau rakshaks spreading pan India. But he choose to keep silent although he tweets on any other subject under the sun. Breaking the
silence is welcome, the only question is why so late," he said.

CPI leader D Raja also crticised the ruling dispensation stating there were issues on which people expect the PM to speak, including, increasing atrocities on dalits.

"Why has the PM not uttered a single word against the atrocities committed in his own state Gujarat?" he asked. 

BJP, however, defended Modi's statement and said the opposition attack was a "classic book example of political bankruptcy".

"There cannot be more direct censure by the Prime Minister in expressing his displeasure to what anti-social elements are doing in the name of 'Gau Raksha'," BJP National Secretary Sidharth Nath Singh said.

He said since the opposition has nothing against the Prime Minister, it wanted to hide its failures and indulged in pointing fingers at the Centre.

 In his first public denouncement of cow vigilantes, some of whom flogged dalits in his home state Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday said he felt enraged at such "anti-social elements" who indulged in crimes by the night and masqueraded as cow protectors by the day.

The Prime Minister kept on his denunciation of cow vigilantes on second day on Sunday and asked people to beware of its 'fake' protectors trying to divide society and the country and asked the states to severely punish them. 

Modi said that some people want 'tanaav' (tension) in the society in the name of 'cow protection'. 

"I request the state governments to make a list of such fake vigilantes and take stringent action against them. These people do not care about protection of cows. They just want to create tension in society in the name of cow protection," PM Modi said.

"I would like to tell all countrymen that they beware of these fake cow protectors," Modi said. 

Yesterday, at a Town Hall-style address to mark the second anniversary of his government's MyGov initiative, the PM had rebuked the cow vigilantes and said that most of them were anti-social" elements who are running "shops" in the name of cow protection which makes him "angry". 

He asked state governments to prepare "dossiers" on the so-called cow protectors as 80 per cent of them do illegal activities at night and become cow protectors in the day, asserting that running such help groups does not mean harassing others.  

His comments come at a time when his government and BJP are facing flak over incidents of violence against Dalits and Muslims by cow vigilantes in various states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. 

(With PTI inputs)