New Delhi: The Congress today suspended its three youth workers in Kerala for publicly slaughtering a calf, saying those behind it have no place in the party.
The three Youth Congress workers — Kannur Youth Congress district president Rijil Makkutty and activists Joshi Kandathil and Sharafuddin — were suspended both from the YC and the Congress, party sources in Thiruvananthapuram said.
The Congress, however, sought to play down the incident.
Instead, it attempted to attack the BJP over the rise in criminal activities and violence in Uttar Pradesh.
It alleged that the situation in BJP-ruled states is drifting toward “chaos, lawlessness and descending into anarchy”.
Asked about the Kerala incident at the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Manish Tewari said the Congress vice president had already condemned it.
On Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s remarks condemning the calf slaughter, Tewari said that before the former BJP spokesperson started pointing fingers at people, he should understand that when one finger was pointed at somebody, three finger remained pointed back at you.
“I think the BJP needs to introspect what has been happening in UP is extremely reprehensible, it is extremely disturbing,” he said, referring to caste clashes in Saharanpur and molestation of two girl by a group of youths in Rampur.
“It just goes to underscore and underlie the complete ‘jungle raj’ which is prevailing in Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, I think it is important for the BJP both at the national level and at the state level to see what is going on in UP and how BJP-ruled states is drifting into chaos, into lawlessness and descending into anarchy,” he said.
On dalits being distributed soaps before a meeting of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Congress vice president tweeted, “BJP should also explain that with which soap will it clean up its dirty mindset”.
On the Kerala incident, the AICC in-charge of communications, Randeep Surjewala, said such an action by Congress workers was “completely unacceptable” and was “alien to the civil society, our culture and founding principles”.
“Anybody who has done so will have no place in the party and that’s why the workers have been already suspended by the Youth Congress,” he said.
“Such elements have no place in the Congress or in our culture. Indian culture is not to cause harm to any living being, much less to the holy cow which we all celebrate and revere,” he also said.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had yesterday condemned the butchering by some Youth Congress members to protest against the government’s move to ban sale of bovines for slaughter in animal markets.
Terming the incident as “thoughtless and barbaric”, he said that it was “unacceptable” to him and his party.
“What happened in Kerala yesterday is thoughtless, barbaric and completely unacceptable to me and the Congress. I strongly condemn the incident,” he tweeted.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president M M Hassan said in Thiruvananthapuram that the action had dented the Youth Congress’ protest and the activists were suspended from the party.
“The public slaughter of the calf by the YC activists is against the Congress’ culture. The party condemns the incident,” Hassan told reporters.
Surjewala, however, asked whether the BJP would give a similar advice to Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar and Union minister Kiren Rijiju who had been “gloating” over similar incidents, or to other BJP-ruled states “where such incidents are common”.
“We should rise above partisan politics and comprehensively condemn such incidents,” he said.
Surjewala also raised the issue of attacks on Dalits in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress also slammed the BJP for trying to play “regressive politics of polarisation” and accused it of indulging in “doublespeak and deception”.
The Kerala Police today booked the three YC activists in connection with the case. The incident has drawn flak from various quarters.