Congress to unite Opposition against those spreading hatred

Congress Tuesday accused the Narendra Modi government of failing to take action against forces spreading hatred.

New Delhi: Accusing the Narendra Modi government of failing to take action against forces spreading hatred, Congress Tuesday said it will take initiative to bring all like-minded parties together to press for "tangible action" to thwart the "diabolical plan".

"Congress will reach out to all democratic, secular and progressive forces to defeat this diabolical plan," party's senior spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters, insisting that events since the Narendra Modi government assumed office have been causing "grave concern".

Insisting that "tangible action" needed to be taken against elements, organisations and forces "besmirching India's fair name" globally, Sharma said Congress is not satisfied with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's statement against the "extremely disturbing trend" of people resorting to vandalism to register contrarian views.

The Congress leader said that Jaitley has not spoken of any action against such forces. The fact is that "there has not been a single instance of firm and effective action" in the wake of such incidents as also controversial statements by leaders of the ruling party, Sharma said. Bringing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the line of fire, Sharma said whatever he has done "falls short of his Constitutional and moral obligations". "In fact, the Prime Minister was forced to explain his stand by President Pranab Mukherjee expressing concern ....What the head of state said twice should be a wake up call for all of us," he said.

The Congress decision to reach out to other opposition parties comes amid growing concerns over the Dadri lynching incident and protests by writers and others on the issue of growing intolerance.

Jaitley's statement had come against the backdrop of a series of incidents including those in Mumbai where BJP ally Shiv Sena stormed the BCCI headquarters against talks for resumption of Indo-Pakistan cricketing ties and blackening of the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni over non-cancellation of the book launch of former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.

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