Mumbai: The targeting of specific communities is on the rise with a few right wing leaders pouring vitriol in their election speeches. Confident of a BJP-led NDA victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam said on Monday that "Muslims" who vandalised police vehicles, damaged public property and attacked women police personnel during the Azad Maidan riots in August 2011, "will not be spared".
Kadam added that Narendra Modi will also avenge the attacks on Indian soldiers by Pakistan once he became the Prime Minister.
"Within six months of becoming the PM, Modi will take action against those Pakistanis who have beheaded our soldiers. Manmohan Singh and (Maharashtra CM) Prithviraj Chavan are shamelss, but Modi will not spare those Pakistanis," Kadam said at a rally in Kalyan, Mumbai.
The Shiv Sena, however, distanced itself from the statements. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray issued a statement saying that the party does not echo Kadam's views. "The statements made by Shri Ramdas Kadam do not echo the sentiments of Shri Balasaheb Thackeray, Uddhav ji Thackeray and the Shiv Sena party. It is his personal view. The party's stand on Hindutva are clear, and voiced by Uddhav ji time and again," the statement read.
Kadam's comments comes just days after similar remarks by BJP leader Giriraj Singh and VHP leader Pravin Togadia. Togadia, during a rally in Bhavnagar in Gujarat on the weekend, had said that Muslims must be evicted from "Hindu areas".
He even protested outside the house of a Muslim businessman in Rajkot, warning him to vacate the premises within 48 hours. Giriraj, on the other hand, had said that all the Modi detractors must leave the country and go to Pakistan.
While the BJP distanced itself from the remarks, with Modi himself condemning the statements, no apology was forthcoming from the leaders. Giriraj remained defiant, saying he had only "expressed his feelings". Togadia, meanwhile, went on the defensive and denied making the remarks.
The Congress accused the BJP of playing votebank politics. "These vitriolic comments are not good. These are being done only for vote bank. I strongly condemn these statements," Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said.
Kapil Sibal added, "This is all politics. He (Modi) himself gives such statements. He has a forked tongue."