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  India   Politics  23 Apr 2017  Row over Ravi Shankar Prasad ‘Muslim sanctity’ remark

Row over Ravi Shankar Prasad ‘Muslim sanctity’ remark

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 23, 2017, 4:29 am IST
Updated : Apr 23, 2017, 4:29 am IST

The Congress and other Opposition parties have launched a scathing attack on the Union minister.

AIMIM leader and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi. (Photo: PTI/File)
 AIMIM leader and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi. (Photo: PTI/File)

New Delhi: Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad came under heavy attack from the Congress and other Opposition parties on Saturday for his statement that Indian government was providing “sanctity for Muslims” though they do not vote for the BJP. The minority cell president of the BJP, Abdul Rasheed Ansari, adopted a cautious approach, saying that the minister must have been “quoted out of context.” There had also been complete silence from the top BJP Muslim leaders, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain.

The sharpest attack came from the AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who asked the law minister his locus standi in granting “sanctity to Muslims.” Mr Owaisi said “Is the minister (Ravi Shankar Prasad) trying to patronise or threaten us? Yes we didn’t vote for you and will continue to do so...but it’s your constitutional duty to ensure justice and equality as you have taken oath of constitution.” He further added “Who is the minister to say BJP gave us sanctity it is the Constitution who gave sanctity. Government and parties will come and go but constitution will remain as it is supreme.”

 

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has courted controversy with his statement saying that Indian government was providing “sanctity for Muslims” though they do not vote for BJP. In a programme, the law minister said “There has been a campaign against us for a long time. But today we are here because of the blessings of the people of India. We are ruling 15 states on our own. We have got 13 chief ministers. We are ruling the country. Have we victimised any Muslim gentleman working in industry or in service? Have we dismissed them? We don’t get Muslim votes, I acknowledge very clearly. But have we given them proper sanctity or not?”

The Congress and other Opposition parties have launched a scathing attack on the Union minister. Leading the charge, Congress leader and former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid “We should see who does not vote for us and find why and see if it can be addressed. Don’t know from where has ‘sanctity’ come.” CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury called the conduct of Mr Prasad as “very unbecoming of the law minister of India.”

 

After the controversy erupted, the minister sent out a series of Tweets in a bid to clarify his position.

The tweet said “Every Indian, be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian or a citizen of marginalized deprived community. Development of all is our primary concern.” He also quoted the example of the tea garden worker Karim Ul Haque who runs a ambulance service. Haque was picked up by the Prime Minister and awarded the Padma Shree by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Tags: ravi shankar prasad, mukhtar abbas naqvi, asaduddin owaisi, salman khurshid
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi