Seeking to turn the tables on BJP over its attack on actress-turned-politician Ramya on charges of sedition, the Congress on Tuesday said that if wanting better ties with Pakistan was sedition then the first case should be lodged against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A sedition case has been filed against Ramya for saying “Pakistan is not hell” while contesting Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s remarks against the neighboring country a week ago.
Reacting to the controversy, Congress’ chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala today said, "The entire country wants a better relationship between India and Pakistan. Certain elements in BJP and RSS are unnecessarily trying to gain cheap publicity by polluting...."
"If wanting better relations with Pakistan is sedition, then the first case should be lodged against the Prime Minister who made an impromptu stopover for festivities with the Pakistan premier," Surjewala told reporters here.
He said that the second case should be filed against BJP veteran L K Advani for praising Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
Such cases should also be filed against all former Prime Ministers, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, for advocating peace between India and Pakistan, he said.
Surjewala advised BJP and its leaders to refrain from playing petty politics and look at more serious issues facing the country.
A private complaint in a court in Somwarpet in Kodagu district of Karnataka seeking action on sedition and other charges against 33-year-old Ramya for "insulting" Indian patriots by her remark.
Ramya had referred to Parrikar’s statement that “going to Pakistan is like going to hell” and had said, “Pakistan is a good country, not hell. People are just like us. They treated us very well. Manohar Parrikar's comment is not true”.
The issue kicked up a controversy with questions being raised over invoking a colonial-era law to curb free speech.
Ramya's remarks triggered a bitter backlash on social media and BJP and ABVP workers staged protests terming her remarks "anti-national", the actress stood her ground and ruled out tendering any apology, saying she has not said anything wrong.