In a press conference on Friday, 28 February, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Bharatiya Janata Party did not approve of statements such as those made by its leaders Kapil Mishra and Anurag Thakur.
“We have clarified our position very clearly, we do not approve of these statements,” he added.
“If publicly, very senior leaders have disapproved of these statements, I think it means a lot. And the party with its own internal system will surely respond to these situations,” Prasad told reporters in answer to questions about why the BJP has not acted against them.
He noted that the police are looking into the comments made by them, and the matter is sub-judice.
Prasad, in his press conference, also referred to Modi's tweet in which he had made appeal for peace in the national capital, and Shah's statement about Muslims having the same rights as Hindus in the country.
These views should be seen as the BJP's stand, Prasad said.
The BJP leader, however, rejected any comparison between Mishra and AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, saying the latter has been booked in the case by an Intelligence Bureau official over an alleged murder.
Don’t Teach Us Rajdharma: Prasad Slams Cong
Prasad also attacked the Congress, claiming its leaders had made provocative remarks ahead of the violence in northeast Delhi this week. “Congress can stoop to any level for vote bank politics, but it should act responsibly for maintaining peace and harmony in country,” said the Law Minister on Delhi Violence.
He hit back at Congress president Sonia Gandhi for reminding the Centre of its 'rajdharma', as it alleged that the communal violence in northeast Delhi was an outcome of “instigation” by Opposition leaders.
“Sonia Gandhi, please don't preach us 'rajdharma'; your record is full of twists and turns,” Prasad said, while adding that NPR was started by the Congress-led regime.
“If Congress does something, it is good. But if we do the same thing, they provoke the people. What type of rajdharma is this?” he asked.
The BJP's remarks came a day after the Congress leaders, led by Sonia Gandhi, met President Ram Nath Kovind and submitted a memorandum demanding resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah for “abdication of duty” during the communal violence in northeast Delhi. She had also reminded the Centre for its 'rajdharma' and protecting the people from all faiths in the country.
Prasad on Justice Muralidhar’s Transfer
Prasad said that commitment to judicial, media and individual freedom is one of the Modi government's “fundamentals”, while citing its leaders' fight against the Emergency to reject criticism over a Delhi High Court judge's transfer.
Asked about the Congress' attack on the government over the transfer of Justice S Muralidhar, Prasad hit back at the party, noting that its government in the 1970s had superseded Supreme Court judges, a move seen as an assault on judicial independence.
The minister reiterated that Muralidhar's transfer had nothing to do with any case as a recommendation to this effect was already made by the Supreme Court collegium and the judge had also given his consent.
“It (transfer) was part of the process. By same process dozens of judges have been transferred,” Prasad told reporters.
The Congress has alleged that Justice Muralidhar was transferred by the government to save BJP leaders in the Delhi violence case which he was hearing.
What Verma Said in Pro-CAA Rally on Sunday
On Sunday, Verma shared on twitter a video from his rally in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act where he and others can be seen shouting slogans in favour of shooting ‘traitors’.
“Goli maaron s***** ko, desh ke gaddaron ko (Shoot them, the anti-nationals),“ people can be heard chanting in the video.
Mishra tweeted saying, “We too have come out on the streets; let there be no misunderstanding: We know how to win in Parliament, we also know how to win on the street. I have come out on to the streets with thousands of youths of Delhi.”
He later deleted this tweet.
On Thursday, 27 February, Mishra said said “No question is being asked to people on whose terrace, petrol bombs and weapon were found. Videos are surfacing but nobody is asking questions about that. But someone who only requested for road to be cleared as it was causing inconvenience to 35 lakh people is being called a terrorist and villian.”
At least 40 people were killed due to large-scale communal violence in parts of Northeast Delhi.
(With inputs from PTI)