Stung by Sonia Gandhi accusing it of “spreading the virus of communal hatred” at a time it should be fighting the coronavirus, the ruling BJP on Thursday said the Congress president should not do “cheap politics”.
“We are not creating communal divisions. We are unitedly fighting COVID-19. We request them to not do cheap politics. They must not indulge in small politics,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, shortly after Sonia Gandhi took on the ruling party at a Congress leadership meet.
In her opening remarks at a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, Sonia Gandhi said the BJP was doing “grave damage” to social harmony when everyone should be fighting coronavirus unitedly.
“Let me also share with you something that should worry each and every one of us as Indians. When we should be tackling the coronavirus unitedly, the BJP continues to spread the virus of communal prejudice and hatred,” said the Congress chief.
“Grave damage is being done to our social harmony. Our party, we will have to work hard to repair that damage.”
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and top Congress leaders attended the meeting through video conference.
Sonia Gandhi said the coronavirus pandemic had increased disturbingly in the past three weeks in both spread and speed. She also commented that she had written several times to Prime Minister Narendra Modi since the lockdown was enforced and had suggested several measures and constructive cooperation.
“Unfortunately, they have been acted upon only partially and in a miserly way. The compassion, large-heartedness, and alacrity that should be forthcoming from the central government is conspicuous by its absence,” she said.
The CWC, in its resolution, expressed concern that the BJP was “seeking to inflame communal divides even as the country battles COVID-19”.
“As a nation, we must be wary of forces that seek to polarise the country in times of a crisis such as these,” said the statement adopted by the Congress’s top panel.