In BJP-JD(U) game, Cong plays secular card

The Congress on Tuesday asked why the country’s political parties are silent on a debate on communalism initiated by Bihar in a move to isolate the BJP at the national level.
Without naming Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and his opposition to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi projecting himself as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, the Congress said the issue was important, not personalities. Asking why the Left, the Samajwadi Party and others are silent on the debate over secularism, the Congress said this has been the core ideological issue for over two decades. “Why have those who have been in the habit of issuing certificates of secularism to others turned mum when Nitish Kumar has started the debate on the issue of secularism,” senior party leader Mohan Prakash told reporters.
Mr Prakash, in charge of party affairs in Gujarat, Maharashtra and J&K, recalled that the Left parties and the SP have always projected themselves as those in the vanguard of defending secularism. “The silence of these parties on the issue of secularism is strange,” he said, adding that this was especially so because it had been a crucial issue for all Lok Sabha elections since 1990.
Noting that “democracy and secularism are two sides of the same coin”, he said a debate on the issue, therefore, is a must for a thriving democracy.
He added that those linking this debate with individuals are playing the game of the rightist forces.
“Modi is riding a tiger, he cannot get off. He will either finish the BJP or the latter will accept his leadership,” Congress insiders feel.
The Congress’ stated line is to not comment on the battle for the PM’s post within the BJP.

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