BJP hails govt's decision as 'strong and timely'; Opposition leaders call for ban on RSS

NewsDrum Desk
28 Sep 2022
BJP hails govt's decision as 'strong and timely'; Opposition leaders call for ban on RSS

New Delhi: With the government banning the Popular Front of India for five years, the BJP on Wednesday hailed the decision as "strong and timely" and accused the Congress of standing with anti-India forces, even as several opposition leaders called for similar action against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

The government on Wednesday banned the PFI and several of its associates for five years under a stringent anti-terror law, accusing them of having "links" with global terror groups like ISIS.

The BJP praised it as a "strong and timely" action and attacked the opposition parties, particularly the Congress, saying it is unfortunate that some are looking at their political profit and loss even in this.

Senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said strict action has been taken against those "acting as proxies of anti-India forces" that were against democracy and part of a violent conspiracy.

"It is unfortunate that some political parties and some people associated with various governments were giving protection to such forces. Such people are seen standing with such forces now," he said.

These are the same people who sometimes raise questions about the country's security, about surgical strikes, and raise a hue and cry when terrorists are killed, Naqvi said.

''The government has taken action with its commitment to the security of the country and its people but it is unfortunate that even in this, some are looking at their political profit and loss,'' Naqvi said.

The action taken by the government against forces acting as proxies for militant groups is in the interest of the country and people, he added.

Congratulating Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the move, BJP General Secretary CT Ravi alleged that "the PFI was nurtured by Congress." He alleged that the PFI is nothing but "an avatar of SIMI, it has links with many terror fronts and creates social unrest in the country".

The Congress asserted that it has always been and will continue to be against all forms and types of communalism - majority or minority.

All India Congress Committee general secretary communications Jairam Ramesh said, "The Congress has always been and will continue to be against all forms and types of communalism - majority or minority makes no difference." "The Congress' policy has always been to uncompromisingly fight all ideologies and institutions that abuse religion to polarise our society, that misuse religion to spread prejudice, hate, bigotry and violence," he said in a statement.

Ramesh said this fight is of utmost priority to preserve, protect and celebrate the secular and composite construct of society and nationhood.

Taking a slightly divergent view, the Kerala Congress and its coalition partner Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) welcomed the Centre's decision to ban the PFI for its alleged terror activities but said that RSS, the BJP's ideological fountainhead, should also be similarly outlawed.

Senior Congress leader and former state home minister Ramesh Chennithala said the Centre's decision to ban PFI was a "good thing".

"RSS should also be banned like this. In Kerala, both majority communalism and minority communalism should be equally opposed. Both the outfits have flared up communal hatred and thus tried to create division in the society," he said.

Strongly condemning the activities of the PFI, senior IUML leader M K Muneer said the radical outfit had misinterpreted the Quran and persuaded the community members to adopt the path of violence.

Replying to queries from journalists about the ban on PFI, RJD president Lalu Prasad called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh a "Hindu extremist organisation" that deserved to be banned.

"They keep raising the bogey of PFI. It is the RSS which is all about Hindu extremism which deserves to be banned first,” he told reporters in Delhi.

The CPI(M) said it opposes the extremist views of the PFI, but does not support the way the government is tackling it by banning the outfit under the anti-terror law UAPA. It said bans on RSS and Maoists have been ineffective in the past.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said banning organisations like PFI was not a solution and the better option was to isolate them politically and take firm administrative action against their criminal activities.

Hitting back at BJP chief J P Nadda for alleging that Kerala, ruled by his CPI(M)-led LDF, was a "hotspot of terrorism", Yechury asked him to tell the RSS to stop "retaliatory killings" and allow the state administration to take action against extremist organisations.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said though he always opposed the PFI's approach, the ban on the radical outfit cannot be supported.

"...A draconian ban of this kind is dangerous as it is a ban on any Muslim who wishes to speak his mind. The way India's electoral autarky is approaching fascism, every Muslim youth will now be arrested with a PFI pamphlet under India's black law, UAPA," he said.

Hitting out at the Congress and AIMIM, BJP general secretary B L Santosh tweeted, "Anything anti-national...we have two parties who will support. GOP @INCIndia & Owaisi’s @aimim_national. It turned out to be true in case of PFI Ban too. These two were the first to support this anti national organisation post the ban by Union Govt (sic)." The Social Democratic Party of India - perceived as the political arm of PFI - described the ban on the PFI and its associate organisations as a "direct blow to democracy".

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