New Delhi: Questioning why the writers did not protest in a similar manner after riots and killings in the past, BJP on Thursday alleged it was a "Congress sponsored" move and those returning awards in the wake of Dadri incident were doing a "new kind of politics" after their "patrons" lost.
"We respect their intelligence but if they stand in support of a party that has lost election, Anand Sharma will talk about it, then it will further clarify that it is Congress sponsored," senior BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The BJP intensified its attack after Congress leader Anand Sharma dismissed as "perverse and cynical" Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's remarks trashing the protest by writers, who returned Sahitya Academy awards against "rising intolerance", as a "manufactured paper rebellion".
Prasad said, "These all writers are an honour for us but all of them have been hating Narendra Modi. See their last 10- year history, except a few. Their patrons have lost today so they are resorting to new politics."
Hitting out at Congress for its attack on the government, he said, "Anand Sharma should answer where were these writers at the time of Tasleema Nasreen incident in Bengal. When Anand Sharma's party imposed Emergency on country, then except Kuldeep Nayyar and Ram Nath Goenka, where were these writers."
Citing more examples, the Minister said "where were these writers when atrocities were committed on Kashmiri Pandit women and when Salman Rushdie's book was banned and Anand Sharma should answer where were they at the time of Tasleema Nasreen incident in Bengal".
Prasad added that the Supreme Court judgement on former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's case also shows how Congress party promoted Bhatt and some NGOs.
"Congress party has lost. Left parties are losing so they are resorting to alternate politics....Why were you silent on Muzaffarnagar riots? Why were they silent on Bhagalpur riots? So many Sikhs were killed why were you silent? Today when even Prime Minister has criticised Dadri case, Amit Shah has said, we have said that it is a state subject," he added.
He also questioned why the writers were silent "when 300 workers were killed in Kerala".
"Why were writers silent on their human rights...Because they are close to Leftists.... On some issues discussion should happen with honesty," Prasad said.