Political leaders condemn Pawar slap

Last Updated: Thursday, November 24, 2011 - 23:54

New Delhi: The incident of slapping of Union
Minister Sharad Pawar on Thursday evoked wide condemnation from the
political class, even as some opposition leaders warned the
government that such incidents may increase if it did not take
adequate steps to curb rising prices.

Pawar`s daughter Supriya Sule, who was coming out of
Parliament rushed to see her father after hearing about the
incident.

Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi blamed BJP for the
"unfortunate" incident saying, "the incident was a result of
the opposition party leader`s statement made to incite the
public.

"If the opposition party says that people will resort to
violence due to rising prices, it means they are inciting the
people of the country... If a political party incites the
public like this, then it will have such results."

Alvi said, "all political parties and their leaders
should be very careful in giving their statements," as they
weaken democracy.

BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad, while condemning the
incident said it is unfortunate that Congress feels that the
opposition party is trying to incite the public. "It is not
proper. It should not have happened. It is a security breach,"
he told reporters outside Parliament.
Reacting to the Congress comments blaming the BJP for
instigating violence, Prasad said, "If Congress thinks it is
because of opposition`s statements, we pity them for not being
concerned about the public apathy and pain due to price rise.
People are today helpless and are feeling the pain of price
rise for the last 3.5 years even when an economist Prime
Minister is running the nation."

Terming Alvi`s comments as "irresponsible", Prasad said
he should show restraint while making statements against a
political party as his views are considered as those of the
Congress since he is also the party spokesman.

Prasad also justified remarks by senior BJP leader
Yashwant Sinha that an atmosphere of tension was prevailing in
the country due to price rise.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, "It is totally
condemnable and I think, I do not know where this country is
going. These type of activities are not worth publicising."

Railways Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh
Trivedi said, "It is very unfortunate", but added "if it was
just a spur of the moment, then I think he should be talked to
and he should be explained things."

The Minister felt that taking any tough step against him
also may not really solve anything.

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh said, these things are
happening as the government was not fulfilling its
responsibility.

"If the government does not fulfil its responsibility,
and creates such an atmosphere which leads to anarchy and
incidents of attack on even senior ministers of the Centre....
then the government has to answer," he told reporters outside
Parliament.

While stressing that the responsibility for the price
rise rests on the governemnt, Singh, at the same time,
maintained, "But the solution of price rise does not lie in
attacking Sharad Pawar."

He rejected Congress allegation as "absurd" that the
attack on Pawar has happened due to the provocative statements
by Sinha.
NDA convener Sharad Yadav said "such acts weakens our
fight against corruption and price rise and I strongly condemn
the incident... He is a lumpen man and has acted in the same
manner earlier also."

When asked if it was people`s anger coming out against
prise rise, Yadav said, "This (slapping)is not the way for
this. He is enacting a drama. Who is taking up a fight against
corruption and price rise. It is we the opposition parties,
who have waged a war against corruption and price rise."

Samajwadi Party`s Mulayam Singh Yadav said, "I condemn
the incident and fear that if the price rise continues the way
it is, such incidents may increase. Yashwant Sinha is right
that such incidents my increase if price rise.

CPI`s Gurudas Dasgupta said "I strongly condemn this Act.
It is uncivilised and undemocratic. This is no way to protest
against price rise. We fight against corruption and policies,
but we are against individual terrorism. I condemn this
squarely."

Trinamool Congress leader and Minister of State for
Health Sudeep Bandhopadhyay said, "It is totally condemnable.
People will definitely be pained about price rise and we will
discuss it across the country and Parliament."

"But we condemn any such attack on a politician, a
colleague. We also want exemplary punishment in this matter.
It is not proper to allow such things," he said.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury also condemned the attack
on Pawar, saying "such methods are not acceptable in a
democracy. This is not the way. It cannot be accepted".

However, he said the incident "reflects that the people
are angry over price rise and corruption".

Condemning the attack on Pawar, former Prime Minister and
Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Deve Gowda said, "No attempt
whatsoever should be made to justify or defend or glorify such
acts which pose a serious threat to our democratic polity."

In a letter to Pawar, Gowda said, "Such a lunatic act
needs to be condemned by all right thinking people in the
country and cutting across party lines, we have to make it
abundantly clear to one and all that there is no place for
violence in a democratic society such as ours."

"While people have a legitimate right to protest against
issues and individuals about whom they feel agitated, there is
absolutely no room whatsoever for any act of violence, which
is unpardonable and unacceptable," he said.

"The law of the land must take its course and a clear
message needs to be sent out that such irresponsible,
undemocratic and cowardly acts, whether on people in
Government or outside or civil society, would not be
condoned," he said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar condemned the slapping
of Pawar saying, "It is not the right way to protest on any
issue...We do not approve of such a violent act and condemn
it. There is no place for violence in society and democracy."

Terming the attack on the Agriculture Minister as a
crime, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said,
"Everybody in this country is concerned (about price rise).
...But I do not like the way, I condemn it...It is a crime."

"...If you want to speak, speak, express your views...If
you slap somebody or throw a shoe, it won`t work," she added.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said, "That
was a terrible act, a criminal act and should not be allowed
and encouraged."

Condemning the incident, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra
Modi wrote on Twitter, "The attack on Sharad Pawar is
condemnable and unfortunate. There is no place for such acts
in democracy."

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray strongly condemned the
"repulsive" attack on Pawar, saying the Maharashtrians would
not tolerate such acts.

Describing Pawar as an old friend, Thackeray said, "We
have political differences, but Pawar has a standing as a
leader in Maharashtra and in the country. This assault on him
is not acceptable and will not be tolerated by the Marathis."

Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary Sukhdev Singh
Dhindsa said, "The incident needs to be strongly condemned.
Whatever has happened is very bad."

PTI



First Published: Thursday, November 24, 2011 - 15:53

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