Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad raised various points against the Congress at a press conference held at Bengaluru in poll-bound Karnataka in a response to the charges levelled at it by the grand old party.
The Law minister directed a question at Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
“Mr Gandhi is asking a lot of questions. Many of those are misleading and baseless,” he claimed.
“He keeps talking about dignity of women. What is your party’s stand on triple talaq?” asked Prasad.
The minister stressed that triple talaq has nothing to do with religion.
“It is only concerned with gender justice, gender dignity and gender equality,” the Law minister said adding that the contentious method of divorce in a single sitting is regulated in 21 Islamic countries and is considered a crime even in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh besides a few others.
“India is a secular country and gender justice is a fundamental right,” Prasad pointed out.
He accused the Congress of stalling the bill in the Rajya Sabha even though it had been passed in the Lok Sabha, where the BJP is in majority.
“We don’t discriminate on the lines of political ideology but the problem here is that this government is not willing to seek assistance,” he said in a counter-charge at the government led by Siddaramaiah.
The minister said that he was amazed at the “rank pseudo-secular politics or vote-bank politics” of the Congress as was on display in Karnataka.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark at an election rally on 6 May in Chitradurga, Prasad reiterated the BJP’s charge that the Congress has always neglected the valorous warriors of the state in favour of a Sultan.
“In utter disregard of great heroes and heroines of Karnataka, the legacy of Sultan has become more important,” Prasad said referring to the state government’s celebration of jayanti of Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.
The minister then accused Siddaramaiah of shielding the corrupt while citing the example of a man named in a major ponzi scheme.
Without taking the name of Vijay Eswaran, who is accused of duping lakhs of people in the state, Prasad said, “A gentleman who was under scrutiny of your government under Manmohan Singh is not only feted in China but comes to Karnataka and launches a ponzi scheme because of which approximately 2 lakh people lost their hard-earned savings.”
Eswaran has been reportedly accused by a whistleblower who alleged that the Karnataka CM met the ponzi scheme accused in China in 2013. The whistleblower also claimed that the Karnataka police was not taking any action against Eswaran’s firm is under the scrutiny of police of Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
Responding to a question on BJP’s stand on former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s Nirav Modi jibe at a press conference held today in Bengaluru, Prasad said “Either the former PM has not done his homework well or the politician in him has overpowered the economist.”
He then counter alleged that the income of Nirav Modi’s uncle (and another prime accused in the PNB fraud case) Mehul Choksi surged phenomenally in 2013 sending the ball in the Congress’ court.
While attacking the Congress, Prasad, who is also the Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister, underlined the achievements of his party at the Centre and the states where it is in power to put across the message of “development” to people of poll-bound Karnataka.
The Union minister praised the IT professionals in Bengaluru for their achievements while adding that his government will fulfil all the promises around infrastructure in the state.
“Today I wish to convey to all IT sectors, that as outlined in manifesto, improvement of infrastructure of Bengaluru will be our top priority – metro, decongestions, a huge IT hub near the airport, etc,” he said while highlighting that the neglect of the ruling Congress government in the state.