New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday expressed concern over the “current situation in the country” and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make an appeal to the people to maintain peace and harmony.
Congress leader Alka Lamba also asked why information was not shared with chief ministers on “apprehensions of a foreign hand” in the Udaipur incident.
She further alleged that Modi’s “silence” is strengthening the divisive forces working to weaken the social fabric of the nation.
“The Congress is worried over the current atmosphere prevailing in the country. We urge the prime minister to take the initiative in this regard and come forward to make an appeal for maintaining peace and harmony in the country,” she told reporters.
Lamba alleged that the eight years of BJP rule have “fed and sustained the monster of communalism” and the ruling dispensation appears is inflaming communal tensions in order to deflect public attention from shortcomings such as rising prices, spiralling unemployment and economic distress, and make electoral gains through polarisation.
She claimed that societal tensions have risen in 2020 when there were 857 incidents of communal violence, 96 per cent higher than the previous year. In Delhi alone has as many as 520 such incidents were reported in year 2020, she claimed.
“The usually voluble prime minister remains, as he always has, silent about this disturbing trend. This is despite an appeal by 13 major Opposition parties about the need to counter growing sectarian hate. Intentionally or otherwise, his silence has strengthened the divisive forces that are working to weaken the social fabric of the nation,” the Congress leader alleged.
Accusing the BJP of using this agenda for its electoral gains, she said, “Having failed to deliver jobs and prosperity, the party has made it a habit to whip up communal issues before every election in a desperate attempt to win votes.”
Lamba said Rajasthan has set an example for the whole of the country to follow, as the state police acted swiftly and denied trouble-makers the opportunity to exploit the situation in the wake of Udaipur incident.
“When will the prime minister show leadership and act to reduce communal tensions and heal rather than harm the national fabric,” she asked.
She said tension in the country hurts its image globally and causes embarrassment when friendly foreign governments protest such actions.
“It damages the ease of doing business, hurts the investment environment and robs youth of their prospects, employment and future. The economic scenario under BJP rule has turned so bleak that well off Indians with potential for investments in the country are leaving in droves for other countries,” she claimed.
Lamba said no country can progress till there is peace and brotherhood and India’s growth will be hampered if such an atmosphere continues to prevail.
She said the finance minister is talking about foreign direct investment, but for this one has to create an atmosphere of peace.
“For you FDI is Foreign Direct Investment, but FDI is ‘fear, deception and intimidation’ for those seeking to come into the country with investment,” she said, claiming that 8,000 businessmen have sought to move out of the country because of the “atmosphere of fear”.
“We appeal to the prime minister to convene Parliament and hold discussions,” Lamba said, adding that 13 primary parties have appealed for maintaining peace in the country.
“I would urge the prime minister and home minister to come forward and make this appeal. When youths were on the streets against the Agnipath scheme it was expected that the prime minister would address them and their concerns. But the prime minister chose to remain silent,” she alleged.