Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today lashed out at a noted scientist over his decision to return Padma Bhushan award to protest against the “climate of intolerance”, dubbing him a member of “Hate Modi brigade” and Sonia Gandhi’s “cheerleader” who has rewarded by Congress governments.
In a strongly-worded response to P M Bhargava’s announcement that he was returning the award, BJP said he expressed “no moral indignation or even a murmur of dissent” when Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency and was “rewarded” with a top assignment soon after it was lifted.
“The reality seems to be that he was rewarded then for his political temperament rather than his scientific temperament. For Dr Bhargava now to protest that India’s democracy is under threat under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not only trivial but reeks of hypocrisy of the highest order.
“He is a habitual protester and has strong prejudices against BJP and the central government. He was a signatory to the letter of solidarity with Greenpeace signed by 182 persons on April 24 this year. The list is a who’s who of Hate BJP and Hate Modi brigade and comprises most cheer leaders of Sonia Gandhi,” BJP spokepserson G V L Narasimha Rao said.
They have only one agenda and that is to “abuse” BJP and the Prime Minister all the time, he said.
BJP termed it “unfortunate” that the media was carrying Bhargava’s “irresponsible, motivated and malicious” remarks.
“He is a beneficiary of Congress-era Emergency excesses and has been a habitual protester against the BJP governmentu2019s policies,” Rao said.
Rao said Bhargava’s “intolerance” to the present government possibly stemmed from his “frustration” that a “non-friendly” government was at the Centre as he was a “favourite” for many assignments when UPA was in power.
Many writers, artistes and scientists have been returning their awards over what they say “growing intolerance” under the BJP government. Bhargava alleged the Modi government was trying to make India into a “Hindu religious autocracy”.
Pooh-poohing the protesters, Rao suggested that their action was motivated, saying what “many of these distinguished citizens could not achieve electorally, they are trying to do so by resorting to malicious propaganda”.