New Delhi: The Opposition-sponsored debate on intolerance continued in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, with the Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi saying that the BJP MPs were asked not to make provocative statements as it deflected from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s developmental agenda.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said members were also briefed about the recent elections, including one in Bihar where BJP suffered a big defeat, and the need to work to spread the party ideology was stressed.
“MPs were told to speak with understanding and decorum. There is a need to avoid controversy... At a time when the Prime Minister is pushing ahead with his development agenda, many people are unable to digest it and any misstep will allow anti-BJP forces to work it to their benefit. We should avoid making provocative statements,” Naqvi said.
He said the debate on the issue of intolerance was “unmasking” those who were misleading the country and added that the party MPs were told that communal riots were controlled under the BJP-led NDA government and there was social harmony everywhere.
The “constructive discussion” between Modi and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh was also flagged in the meeting. We have all hopes that developmental issues will be discussed and passed, Naqvi said.
Naqvi said the parliamentary party, which includes MPs of both the Houses, expressed happiness over BJP's success in local elections in a number of states.
Asked about Bihar results, he said the party had tried hard. "We respect the people's mandate. But no mandate is final."
Speaking on the briefing in the meeting over intolerance debate, he said sarcastically that those protesting over the issue include many "great intellectuals" who had issued an appeal to the people to vote against Modi during the Lok Sabha poll.
People rejected their appeal but they have not able to get over it, he said.