Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to clarify on controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's claim that the Centre had offered him safe passage to India in exchange for his support on the scrapping of provisions of Article 370.
Zakir Naik, a 53-year-old radical television preacher, has been wanted in India for money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speeches. He had left India in 2016 and subsequently moved to Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency.
The controversial preacher had recently made a claim that a representative of the Narendra Modi government had approached him in Malaysia in September last year, and offered him safe passage to India in return for his support for the Centre's decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special constitutional status.
Tweeting a video of Zakir Naik's claim, Digvijay Singh on Wednesday said, "The Prime Minister and the Home Minister should officially deny Dr Zakir Naik's allegations or else it will mean that "anti-national" Dr Zakir Naik's accusation was right."
Talking to reporters in Indore hours later, Mr Singh said, "Through a video, Naik has issued a statement saying that Modi and Amit Shah had sent an emissary to him in September 2019, who told him (Naik) that if he supports the government on abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, cases against him would be scrapped and he will be able to return to India."
"If Zakir Naik, who has been dubbed as anti-national by Modi and Shah, has given such a statement, then they should deny it," he said.
"My question is why the prime minister and home minister have not refuted Naik's charge so far," the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said.