- Ravi Shankar Prasad hit out at Sonia Gandhi over violence in Delhi
- "Shreemati Sonia Gandhi please don't preach us," he said
- "BJP condemns pure politicking by Congress party," he added
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday hit out at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi over the violence in Delhi, saying that the opposition leader should not lecture the central government about its duties when her own party's record was questionable.
"Shreemati Sonia Gandhi please don't preach us 'Raj Dharma' (Ruler's Duty). Your record is full of rapid violations, twists and turns for plain and simple vote bank politics," the senior BJP leader said.
Mr Prasad also responded to criticism about the role of Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra's provocative speech for triggering the clashes and the failure of the Delhi Police, which reports to the former BJP chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in controlling the violence that has claimed at least 42 lives.
"Party has not approved of such comments. Senior party leaders have publicly condemned it (Mr Mishra's speech)," Mr Prasad said, adding "The Home Minister was proactive since Day 1. Action will be taken against those responsible."
"The BJP condemns in the strongest possible terms the pure politicking by the Congress party during such a sensitive issue where we all need to talk collectively about peace, harmony," he said.
After meeting President Ram Nath Kovind along with a party delegation, Sonia Gandhi on Thursday had said that Home Minister Amit Shah should be sacked for "abdicating" his duties and both the centre and Arvind Kejriwal's government in Delhi had been "mute spectators" to the clashes.
"Rashtrapati ji you are given the highest possible responsibility under the Constitution of India: to act as the conscience keeper of this Government and to remind it of its Constitutional duty and the pillars of Raj Dharma, by which any just government must abide," the Congress had said in a memorandum to the President.
Over the years, 'Raj Dharma' has become a thorny term for the BJP since the party's icon and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee used it at a news conference in 2002 following the Gujarat riots, saying that then Chief Minister Narendra Modi must observe his duty without any discrimination between people on the basis of caste, creed or religion.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was part of the Congress delegation, said on Thursday, "We urged the President to use his power to protect Raj Dharma."
Over four days since Monday, the spiralling violence in northeast Delhi took a communal turn and the police were accused of largely failing to control rioting on the streets, looting, arson and stone-throwing.
Sonia Gandhi, targeting both the ruling BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), said: "The centre and the newly-elected Delhi government were mute spectators to the violence." The Congress chief has appointed a 5-member team to visit the affected areas and submit detailed report to her.