Bengaluru: Union minister Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday accused the writers, who returned their awards, of double standards saying they are selective in attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "growing intolerance" in the country and have overlooked the Congress wrongdoings including Emergency in the past.
"Why these writers did not raise the issue of intolerance during the regime of Congress in Maharashtra when Dhabolkar was killed? Why are they not writing a word against the Congress government in Karnataka where Dr Kalburgi's murder took place? Whose government is in Uttar Pradesh when Dadri episode happened? It was Mulayam Singh party's government. But some writers are attacking Modi for all these incidents. What is the connection of Modi with these incidents?" Naidu said.
The Union law and parliamentary affairs minister said these writers, who were silent and did not write a word against Emergency and other wrongdoings of the Congress governments in the past, are criticising PM Modi for his silence, because they were comfortable during the Congress regime.
"These writers did not raise voice against the wrongdoings including Emergency and the murder of rationalist Dhabolkar during Congress rule... Why they did not raise the voice because they were comfortable during the Congress regime," he said at a function in Bengaluru to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
Naidu further attacked the writers for their silence over genocide of the Sikhs in the 1984 Delhi riots and also when Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen was attacked by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen in Hyderabad. "Why were they silent. Why, what happened? What is this selective amnesia? The reason is they were comfortable with Congress regime," he said.
Naidu also flayed people like Uttar Pradesh minister Mohammad Azam Khan for seeking United Nations intervention to look into the Dadri lynching case and tarnishing the image of the country.
"If there are stray incidents, you condemn it, but do not try to tarnish the image of the country," he said.
"They don't want Modi to succeed. It is not Modi who is not only succeeding but it is India and Indian people who are succeeding," he said.
Naidu said people who play politics on the basis of caste and religion are accusing the BJP for dividing the people.
"Yesterday, during Bihar poll campaigning, the opponents called Modi an outsider. You want to divide people and rake up regional feelings, and you accuse us of dividing people?" he added.
"Please remember, Narendra Modi is from India, not from Italy," he said.
Replying to a query by reporters on birth anniversary celebrations of Sardar Patel overshadowing the death anniversary of Indira Gandhi, Naidu said he is unable to understand why the Congress is raising a hue and cry when all these fifty to sixty years they monopolised anniversary celebrations of one family.
The Congress had launched protests, accusing the Modi government of deliberately overlooking Indira Gandhi's death anniversary by appropriating Patel by observing his birthday as National Unity Day.