The Congress on Monday slammed the BJP and the central government, saying that "lawlessness, lynching of innocents, state-sponsored violence and intolerance have become the new normal" under the present dispensation.

The Congress said lawlessness, aided and abetted by the State, "has become the new India of today".

"Intolerance galore; innocents being targeted; state-sponsored violence — this is the new norm. This is new normal for the Bharatiya Janata Party," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the media here.

The latest Congress criticism comes in the wake of lynching of seven persons on suspicion that they were abducting children in Jharkhand on May 18, for which 18 persons have since been arrested and officers in charge of two police stations suspended. 

"It amounts to state-sponsored activities because every time the police just sit as mute spectators and at times encourage them. In Jharkhand, police were present, still seven people were killed by mobs."

"There is no punishment, or fear; in fact, there is encouragement," said Singhvi.

"What India are we living in? This is an un-Indian idea of the idea of India. Is it the India of mob justice or is the vigilantism of the Wild West which we are proudly practising because the philosophy of the ruling dispensation encourages it?" the Congress leader said.

He said a movement to lynch innocents has begun in BJP-ruled states. "Lawlessness aided and abetted by the State has become the new India of today," said Singhvi.

He cited the National Crimes Record Bureau data and said that the atrocities against Dalits have increased by 38 per cent under the Narendra Modi government. 

"According to NCRB data, it was 39,408 (cases) in 2013. In 2015, it went up to 54,355. The highest was in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, among the top four states," he said.

"This NDA government is a Whatsapp government, a Whatsapp-driven government. It thrives on emotions and vulnerabilities of the people and uses it deliberately and mischievously to target those who may have different views, different ideologies," Singhvi added.

He said the flogging of four Dalit youths in Una in Gujarat and Dadri lynching incidents are not mere statistics. "Is this the new normal for Modi ji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi)?" he asked.

"He (Modi) practises either great 'jumlas', high-sounding sermons, or eloquent silence. Is this the India Modi ji wants to create where ruthless mobs take law into their own hands? Is this the intolerance of majoritarianism?" he asked.

Singhvi said: "They are encouraged, supported, and indirectly or directly promoted by the regressivve and intolerant remarks of BJP leaders."