Prasad remarks part of well-planned attack on India's secular character: CPI

CPI on Thursday condemned Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's "pernicious" proposal for a debate on the relevance of words 'socialist' and 'secular' in the preamble of the Constitution, saying this is a "well planned concerted attack" on the secular character of the nation.

New Delhi: CPI on Thursday condemned Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's "pernicious" proposal for a debate on the relevance of words 'socialist' and 'secular' in the preamble of the Constitution, saying this is a "well planned concerted attack" on the secular character of the nation.

"The Central Secretariat of CPI condemns the pernicious proposal of Union Telecommunications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to drop from the preamble of our Constitution the words 'Socialist' and 'Secular'.

"Secularism symbolises the character of our state while socialism symbolises the goal India has to achieve. BJP has now come out with its real intention of creating a communal divide in India. This is not just a change of some words but a well planned concerted attack on the secular character of our nation. This should not be allowed," the party said in a statement.

CPI said the advertisement on this year's Republic Day by the government without the words 'socialism' and 'secularism' in the preamble to the Constitution was not by mistake but is part of the BJP government's conspiracy to wipe out secularism in India.

The advertisement had carried a picture of the Preamble to the Constitution as it appeared before the 42nd Amendment, without the words 'secular' and 'socialist'.

"People should be vigilant and fight against this communal onslaught of the BJP government," CPI said.

Telecom Minister Prasad had yesterday said he found nothing wrong in Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's reported remarks that these two words can be permanently dropped from the preamble.

"What is the objection in placing some views in historical perspective. The preamble, which was used in the advertisement was the original preamble and the Constituent Assembly which had prepared it had leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, B R Ambedkar and others. These two words were not there then.

"Did Nehru have no understanding of secularism. These words were added during the Emergency. Now what is the harm if there is a debate on it. We have put before the nation the original preamble," Prasad had said.  

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