New Delhi: Condemning "untruthful" statements by the government over official circulars on observing December 25 as 'good governance' day, CPI(M) on Tuesday demanded accountability of HDR Minister Smriti Irani saying such circulars were issued by her ministry.
"The minister has willfully tried to conceal the facts. This is an addition to the wholly unconstitutional effort to push a divisive agenda on a day which is a holiday celebrated by the Christian community as a holy day," the party Politburo said in a statement.
It demanded "accountability" of Irani and "strongly condemned the Modi government's untruthful statements regarding the circular", saying the Prime Minister "should inform the nation through Parliament what action he intends to take against the minister".
Separately at a press conference, senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury read out a circular signed by an Additional Secretary of the Ministry, instructing all technical institutions and the AICTE to organise seminars and elocution contests on December 25 and send compliance reports that day.
He said he had authenticated the circular in the Rajya Sabha after Leader of the House Arun Jaitley had "challenged" him to do so yesterday.
Terming the move as "outrageous", he said it was a "direct attack" on the religious rights of the Christian minority and aimed at creating tension.
"Like Pakistan observes December 25 as Mohammed Ali Jinnah's birthday and not as Christmas, India will now celebrate the day as Atal Bihari Vajpayee's birthday. This is what India's secular democratic tradition is being reduced in to," Yechury said, adding "Hindu communalism and Muslim fundamentalism go hand in hand, feeding each other."
Alleging that the real agenda of RSS-BJP was unfolding now as they were raking up such issues to "create tension by sharpening communal polarisation," he listed out "communal" issues raised by BJP MPs and other leaders in "quick succession".
While designating Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 as 'Swachh Bharat day', the Prime Minister addressed the students on Teachers' Day (birth anniversary of former President S Radhakrishnan) and teachers on November 14 (Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday), Yechury said.
"Besides, the Prime Minister has also taken a cue from US President Barack Obama's radio addresses to start his own 'Man ki Baat' using All India Radio. Instead of 'Make in India', the PM has learnt it from the USA," he said.