The incidents of cow vigilantism were less reported in the previous United Progressive Alliance, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah has said. The BJP chief, while replying to The Indian Express group on his party’s alleged inability in the prevention of lynching incidents, said the cases have not gone up, instead they are more reported now. He said that contrary to the criticism, the cases are dealt with much seriousness in BJP-ruled states.
“There is not a single instance where those involved in such crimes have gone unpunished or not been booked… FIRs have been registered in every single case… we take these cases seriously and deal with them with equal seriousness,” Shah said.
He also put the onus on media for pro-active reporting of such cases. “Meaning no one (from the media) discussed such incidents that took place during Congress rule,” Shah said.
The BJP chief said if media does further research, it will realise that “facts can shame the perception about the BJP… there were more such incidences taking place then than now… it’s your (the media’s) responsibility to tell the truth,”
Asked about the sundry speeches made by party leaders, Shah said that he can’t stop leaders from voicing what they think. “How can I stop them? Main unke moonh ko taala nahin laga sakta (I can’t gag them). There’s democracy in our party,” he said. The BJP chief again questioned the media as to why it was publicising those making such statements.
“Is there a BJP leader worth his name like Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari making such statements inciting violence or cow vigilantism?” he argued. Shah further blamed media for giving undue publicity to such statements and later blaming the party for inaction.