Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge attacked the government in the Lok Sabha today over rising incidents of mob violence, accusing it of "indirectly encouraging" cow vigilantism. He demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi explain his government's stand on mob attacks in Parliament.
"This is Hindustan, let it be Hindustan...don't make it Lynchistan," said Mr Kharge , who initiated a discussion on mob violence in the lower house of Parliament said, "I don't say they are directly doing this, but the government is indirectly encouraging organisations linked to the BJP like the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and also Gau Rakshaks (Cow Vigilantes)."
He singled out Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, both ruled by the BJP, calling them "mob lynching centres" as he listed recent attacks by cow vigilantes on people they have accused of carrying beef or smuggling cattle.
Mr Kharge was interrupted by the BJP's Nishikant Dubey, who said that the cases he had mentioned are in court and so cannot be discussed. Mr Kharge responded by asking Mr Dubey how many cases were registered against cow vigilantes and how many people have been arrested.
"On one hand you disown these people, but what action is being taken against them?" asked the Congress' leader in the Lok Sabha.
The BJP's HN Yadav said PM Modi has publicly condemned mob attacks several times. "It becomes the responsibility of state governments to follow his instructions," he said.
Ahead of the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, the Prime Minister had at an all-party meeting asked state governments to take strict action against those who attack people in the name of cow protection and had urged opposition parties to help the government "in fighting corruption and the issue of communal violence in the name of cow protection."
He said to many Hindus the cow is like a mother, but said that this should not let people take law in their hands and that every state government should act against those who violate the law.
The Congress is leading a bloc of more than 15 opposition parties have decided to unitedly take on the government in the current session of Parliament on various issues including mob attacks in the name of cow protection.