Opposition members in the Lok Sabha today sought to rake up an rake up issue accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not greeting Muslims on the occasion of Eid while noting that he had offered prayers in Nepal's famed centuries-old Pashupatinath Temple yesterday.
Raising the issue during zero hour, Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandhopadhyay recalled the Prime Minister's visit to the Pashupatinath Temple yesterday and his donation of ghee and 2500 kg of sandalwood.
He said he appreciated the action of the Prime Minister, but equally he expected him to wish Eid Mubarak to the other community. He wanted to know why this "differentiation".
Noting that India believed in the principles of secularism, communal harmony and national integration, he said "some evil forces are trying to create communal tension".
Bandopadhyay cautioned the government to "remain alert, cautious and vigilant to prevent communal incidents as otherwise safety and security of the common man and the secular fabric will be under threat."
A number of members including NCP leader Tariq Anwar, Bhagwant Mann (AAP) and K Kavitha (TRS) associated himself with the TMC leader, as also Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
Disputing Bandopahdyay's submission, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said "I want to put on record that this government believes in 'sarva dharma sambhav'. And the Prime Minister has greeted 'Eid Mubarak' to members of the Muslim community", he said
Greetings on Eid-ul-Fitr. May this auspicious day strengthen the bond of peace, unity & brotherhood across our Nation.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 29, 2014
A Congress member also raked up the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi not hosting Iftaar this Ramzaan
The member, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said while no one has any objection to the Prime Minister going to "Pashupatinath to Tirupati", there has been a practice since Independence of Prime Ministers hosting Iftaars in the holy month of Ramzan.
"Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee continued with this tradition, but what has happened now," Chowdhury, a former Union Minister, said in an apparent reference to Modi not hosting an Iftaar reception this Ramzaan.
His remarks were met with strong opposition from BJP members, prompting Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to observe that it would not go on record.
"Such personal matters will not go on record. I am sorry .... This is not the way. If you want a party, go to him," she told Chowdhury as P K Biju and M B Rajesh (both CPI-M) supported the Congress member.