Ruckus In LS As Tharoor Blames Right-Wing Activists For Mob Violence


NEW DELHI — Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday blamed in the Lok Sabha right-wing activists for death threats, attacks and the vandalisation of his office in Thruvananthapuram on Monday last in protest against his recent ”Hindu Pakistan remarks, and demanded action against “anti-national elements” and the intervention of the Prime Minister.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar sought to distance his party (the BJP) from the attack on Mr. Tharoor’s office, saying law and order has to be dealt with by the State government.

Heated exchanges followed when Mr. Kumar said the attack was “state-sponsored”. It was countered by members of the Congress and the Left parties, leading to Deputy Speaker Thambidurai, who was in the Chair, expunging the names of the political parties they blamed from the records.

Mr. Thambidurai said the entire House was concerned over a member and his office being attacked.

Raising the issue during zero hour, Mr. Tharoor said such attacks on those who expressed dissent destroyed the idea of pluralism and violated the ground rules of the Constitution of freedom of speech and expression.

“Those who are carrying out mob lynchings and mob killings are attacking the ground rules of our democracy. The ground rule of our democracy is that we can disagree with each other without harming or killing one another,” he said

Mr. Tharoor also raised the issue of the attack on Swami Agnivesh on Tuesday in Jharkhand. He said it showed that there was no place for dissent. “We cannot and should not stand by hooliganism… the rule of law should prevail. I urge the Prime Minister to break his silence and seek action against anti-national elements.”

Minister refutes allegation

Replying to Mr. Tharoor, Mr. Kumar said the attacks were due to “state-organised terror” and the allegation that it was carried out by right-wing activists were “baseless and far from truth.”

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge accused Mr. Kumar of misleading the House as the government had all intelligence agencies, and it can find out who were involved in the attack. Mr. Kumar retorted, “Law and order is a State government issue.”

BJP member Meenakshi Lekhi too raised the issue of mob lynchings and suggested that such acts of violence were due to a “economic divide” in the country.

Some members objected to her remarks claiming that she was selectively highlighting incidents that took place in the non-BJP ruled States.

‘Who gave them right to decide that I am not Hindu’

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who earlier triggered a controversy after his “Hindu Pakistan” comment, has once again hit out at the BJP-led Centre and questioned whether they are trying to start Taliban in Hinduism.

“They are asking me to go to Pakistan. Who has given them the right to decide that I am not a Hindu like them and I don’t have the right to stay in the country? Have they started a Taliban in Hinduism?” Shashi Tharoor said while addressing a public gathering here on Tuesday.

This comes after Tharoor on Monday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha of vandalising his constituency office in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram.

Read: Shashi Tharoor’s office vandalised in Kerala, MP says ‘Sanghi goondas’ behind act

Tharoor alleged that offensive slogans were raised against him; asking him to go to Pakistan. He also alleged that his office was damaged.

Last week, Tharoor had stated that if the BJP wins the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it will create a condition leading to the formation of a ‘Hindu Pakistan’.

Also Read: If BJP wins 2019 polls, India will become Hindu Pakistan: Shashi Tharoor

Addressing an event in Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor said, “If they (BJP) win a repeat in the Lok Sabha our democratic constitution as we understand it will not survive as they will have all the elements they need to tear apart the constitution of India and write a new one. That new one will be the one which will enshrine principles of Hindu Rashtra that will remove equality for minorities, that’ll create a Hindu Pakistan.”

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