New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday dismissed protests over growing intolerance in the country as a "perception" limited to "Lutyen's Zone", the area in the heart of the seat of power in the national capital.
"The perception (about growing intolerance) is only limited to Lutyen's Zone. Had such incidents taken place because of the BJP, RSS or VHP, then why are there no protests in Gujarat, MP, Rajasthan and Goa?" he told a show on a channel.
On writers returning their Sahitya Akademi Awards, Shah said they were doing it because of incidents that took place in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka ruled by SP and Congress respectively.
"All the writers returning their awards are protesting against Congress and SP governments."
When pointed out that eminent writer Nayantara Sahgal had questioned the Prime Minister's silence on the issue, he said "The PM had spoken on Dadri. And yet their are resigning. There are many among the writers, who had signed an appeal during the Lok Sabha elections not to elect Modi to power. Now if the people of India elect us, what can we do? The perception (about growing intolerance) is only limited to Lutyen's Zone."
Shah said the BJP has governments in many states and protests there could have suited them better if BJP, RSS or VHP were behind it.
"But here vote bank politics is dominating law and order. That's the reason why there is growing tension in both communities." On the Dadri lynching incident, Shah hit out at the UP
government and blamed its police for what he called "unilateral action" which was causing friction between communities.
"If the UP police acts without any religious discrimination, then no such riots, no such incidents will take place in UP. But if in order to garner votes, the police taken unilateral action, then there is reaction in both the communities. And that is the reason why such incidents happen," Shah said.
He asked why media lacked the courage to criticise the Samajwadi Party on the Dadri incident.
Asked why Union Minister Mahesh Sharma went to Dadri and described the lynching as "accident", Shah replied that was a "slip of tongue".
He raised a question why others like Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal and Asaduddin Owaisi visited Dadri.
"It was Mahesh Sharma's constituency. Had he not gone there, I would have taken him to task. A word came out of him and they made a mountain out of a molehill," he said.
On Modi's election promise of transferring Rs 15 lakh into each person's account after the repatriation of black money from abroad, Shah said what Modi had said during the campaign was that if the entire black money stashed abroad is divided, it could amount to Rs 15 lakh per person.
"But that does not mean that this amount will be deposited into each person's account. What he meant was: the black money recovered would be spent on the welfare of poor."
"When leaders speak in public meetings, they often become emotional. But their statements should not be taken with full stop, comma and all. How can Rs 15 lakh be transferred to each person's account from the government treasury. The government has said and it stands by the commitment that all the money recovered will be spend on plans for uplift of poor," Shah said.