New Delhi: Hitting back at those behind the campaign against "climate of intolerance", BJP Thursday termed it as an attempt to "derail the development momentum" created by the Modi government, which has a "vested interest" in keeping peace.
"The ongoing campaign is a clear effort to derail the development momentum created by the energetic efforts of the Prime Minister. We have vested interest in keeping atmosphere of tolerance in our country because development is possible only in such a situation.
"Are we unwise that we will ourselves destroy our mission of development?" Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu told reporters at press conference in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah where the party released a compilation of articles that defended the government and questioned the protesting intellectuals.
The articles bunched in a booklet titled 'Know the truth: Some are misled-some are misleading' have been written by a host of writers. "Why the so-called intellectuals were silent then and violent now," it says, dubbing the campaign as "nothing but an ideological intolerance".
Though present, Shah did not make any comment on the burning issue at the event organised at the party office, saying he will speak to the media on September 8, when Bihar assembly election results are out.
Naidu alleged the ongoing protests were a joint campaign by Congress and Left-leaning intellectuals whom it had backed for decades.
The BJP, he said, had no problem with some of them returning their awards, but it had an issue with their efforts to project that there was growing intolerance and the Centre was to be blamed for that. "It is being seen by many as a well-organised effort to defame our cultural ethos," he said.
The protests were caused because an alternative was emerging after BJP came to power and when those "patronised" by various Congress governments for decades had to make way for others, it was not palatable to them, Naidu said.
The event came on a day when a group of writers, academicians and artistes came out in support of the Centre and dismissed these protests as "much ado" about the declining clout of a "pampered section" which was now targeting the Prime Minister.
Hitting out at the intellectuals attacking the Centre over "the climate of intolerance", they said a section of nation's intelligensia was dismayed by Narendra Modi's victory in the Lok Sabha polls and "failure in the elections is now sought to be avenged by other means".