New Delhi: Amid a continuing political slugfest over the beef issue, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said he is thankful that at least the recent stampede in Mecca has not been attributed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also sought to dismiss the criticism that the Prime Minister has kept silence on killing of a man on rumours of he and his family having eaten beef.
"If he speaks, people ask why did he speak. If he does not speak, people say why did he not speak... What can be done," Gadkari said.
Replying to a number of queries on the beef controversy at a press conference at Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC) here, Gadkari said, "This is not a major political issue. A section of media, a section of leadership takes interest in it. This has been the history of the country.
"It is our history, since 1947, that there are riots on small issues at some places. This is unfortunate. This should not happen. It should be prevented. Law will take its own course.
"Some people... I will thank some of you that at least what happened in Mecca and Medina, the stampede, has not been attributed to Modi. Otherwise people can write that too here...
"These issues should not be politicised."
The senior BJP leader and the Minister for Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping said there should be communal harmony in the country.
"We want all round development taking everyone with us. We will not discriminate against anybody. We will develop all, provide education to all ... We will give equal right to all. Law will take its course. Our government will try to prevent such incidents. Those who are indulged in this will be subjected to stringent action."
Gadkari also sought to dispel the notion that it is Modi who takes all the decisions in the government.
"It (BJP) is not a family party or a party of mother and son. It is also not a party of father-son and is not property of some one. It is not a party of Narendra Modi, or of Atal Bihari Vajpayee or of Nitin Gadkari or of Amit Shah," he said.