Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, senior Congress leader and former foreign minister Salman Khurshid has called upon his party to reassure Muslims that what was happening with them now will not happen under the Congress regime.
The statement, which has gone viral on social media, was made at an event at Press Club of India on 27 February. The event was to mark the third anniversary of Delhi riots and to seek the release of political prisoners such as Khalid Saifi, Umar Khalid and others.
KC Tiyagi, Janata Dal (United) spokesperson, Rajya Sabha MP and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Manoj Kumar Jha, political activist Yogendra Yadav, former Rajya Sabha MP Mohammed Adeeb, and jailed activist Khalid Saifi’s wife Nargis Saifi also addressed the event.
“My party is upset with what has happened. I request my party (Congress) and all other parties to say it openly that if we come to power, this will not happen. Nobody said this so far in India. We will have to prepare a line of action to prevent this from happening,” said Khurshid.
He said that there was a need to prepare a charter of citizens’ rights so that the police are not involved in such violations of human rights. “Political parties are not able to say openly that they would not allow this under their regime,” said Khurshid.
He also asked the activists to chalk out a grand strategy to prevent violations of rights under all regimes. He expressed his support to the activists who were arrested by Delhi Police in connection with riots that rocked the national capital in February 2020.
Reacting to Khurshid’s statement, Navaid Hamid, former president of All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat (AIMMM), told Clarion India that sees it as Congress’s reassurance and commitment to Muslims.
“But this is also a fact that many people were jailed after being implicated in false cases during the Congress regime since 2005. A senior leader of Congress has accepted that the party was reluctant to speak on the issues of Muslims. It’s breaking the taboo of not speaking on the issues which concerned the Muslim community,” he said.
Hamid drew attention to the impact of practicing soft Hindutva by the Congress party since 1998. However, he feels that the party seems to be reviewing its strategy in this regard. “Salman Khurshid’s statement is in line with this. It’s a strategic statement,” he said.
Khurshid’s statement has drawn attention from others as well.
Sharing the statement, columnist Rahul Mukherji said that what Khurshid is asking for is bare minimum.
“What @salman7khurshid asks for of the opposition, inc INC, is the bare minimum. But in the current political landscape, this is critical. And the opposition has to go beyond this statement of intent. They need to punish the perpetrators of hate crimes, wherever they’re in power,” said Mukherji.