Terming as “unfortunate” the Dadri lynching, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday sought to distance his party from provocative remarks made by some of its leaders, saying they did not reflect its ideology.
Terming last month’s incident where a Muslim man was killed after rumours he had eaten beef as “unfortunate”, Gadkari said communal violence and riots had been taking place since the time India got independence, and asked other political parties to refrain from politicizing the issue.
On the controversial statements made by some party leaders, the former Bharatiya Janata Party president said that such type of leaders existed in each and every party, and added that such comments did not reflect the party’s ideology.
Party’s Uttar Pradesh legislator Sangeet Som, Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Sadhvi Prachi are among those who made controversial statements post Dadri lynching incident.
Responding to questions over the incident by journalists at an event organised by the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC), Gadkari said the law would take its own course in the matter.
Clarifying that his party is not politicising the issue, he said the Narendra Modi government wants peace and harmony to prevail in society, and assured that it will try its best to prevent such type of incidents in future.
He said the Modi government is neither discriminating against the minorities nor against them.
He also termed as “unfortunate” Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concerts in Maharashtra being called off after Shiv Sena’s threats, said artistes should not be protested against, irrespective of their origins.
He said Ghulam Ali is among his favourite singers and listens to his ghazals every day.
He also attacked the Congress, noting his BJP is a “democratic” party unlike it.
“Ours (Bharatiya Janata Party) is not a party of mother-son duo. It is a democratic party and no one owns it,” Gadkari said here without naming Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi.