New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday dubbed the Congress march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan against intolerance a "political stunt" and said it was meant to keep its "dynastic" leadership relevant.
Calling the Congress an "epitome of intolerance", BJP spokesperson and union minister Prakash Javdekar denounced the march led by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
"Congress is the epitome of intolerance. They had turned the country into a jail during Emergency," he said.
"During that period, intolerance was rampant when thousands of poor Muslims were forcibly sterilized. This is the worst kind of intolerance," said Javadekar.
"Sikhs were butchered and massacred (after then prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination in 1984)... Three thousand Sikhs were butchered in Delhi by Congress goons. Then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi justified it."
He said writer MM Kalburgi's murder was a heinous crime, and it took place in Congress-ruled Karnataka.
"Narendra Dabholkar's murder happened in Maharashtra when the Congress and NCP were in power. When Govind Pansare was murdered, it was the BJP government which within three months found out the culprit and arrested him. We are taking action."
Stating that the lynching of a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh on suspicion that he ate beef was "the most deplorable incident", he said it took place in a Samajwadi Party-ruled state.
"The Congress should take out a procession against them and dismiss the Karnataka chief minister. They should apologize for not tracing the murderers of Dabholkar."
Another BJP spokesperson, MJ Akbar, described the march as an attempt by a "failing dynasty" to maintain its relevance.
"This is a desperate attempt by a desperately failing dynasty... They are staging a fake drama because of the truth that is coming out on their corruption."
"Congress is the enemy of social harmony and economic progress," Akbar said.
Earlier, union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said: "They (Congress) have lost people's confidence and are trying to stay relevant. How can a party that imposed Emergency talk about intolerance?"
Congress leaders on Tuesday marched from Mahatma Gandhi's statue in parliament to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to protest against what they said was rising intolerance in the country.
The party submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee.