New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) The Congress Wednesday took a dig at the BJP over theatre personality Amir Raza Husain quitting the party as its vice president over "intemperate remarks" of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Questioning the stance of other prominent Muslim leaders in the BJP, Congress leader and Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari asked if former socialists who had joined the BJP will speak up.
"Amir Raza Husain could say/do the right thing. Wonder why all former socialists who joined BJP quiet? Where do Shahnawaz-ji & Naqvi-ji stand?" (sic) Tewari said in a tweet.
Tewari told Times Now news channel that Amir Raza Husain's resignation should act as a "lightning bolt of introspection" for other BJP leaders with erstwhile socialist predilections.
"In the 1990s, a large number of former socialists decided to abandon the cloak of socialism and donned clothes of communalism. Now they occupy important positions in the BJP. I was just wondering why their conscience has not been stirred," he said.
Referring to BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and party MP Shahnawaz Hussain, Tewari asked: "What do they have to say about Raza's resignation?"
He said Amir Raza Husain resigned from the BJP over "some very intemperate remarks and offensive language the Gujarat chief minister unfortunately used".
Reacting to Tewari's suggestions, Naqvi said the Congress was hiding its failures by trying to stoke debate on secularism.
"Will you trumpet secularism to hide your failures to contain price rise, check corruption and generate employment? Secularism-communalism is an expired formula and the Congress will get to know the people's reaction in the coming days," Naqvi said.
Amir Raza Husain resigned Tuesday after he slammed Modi's remarks about the Congress hiding behind a burqa (veil) to cover its failures and the Gujarat chief minister's reference to a "puppy" in response to a question on the 2002 riots in Gujarat. He said such remarks cannot draw support from the minority community.