In what is enough to explain the difference between the Congress and the BJP, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has promised to make a law related to the offence of sedition even more stringent. This is in sharp contrast with the Congress manifesto which promised to do away with the offence of sedition.
The Congress manifesto which consisted of several controversial promises such as review of AFSPA and the promise to keep Article 370 of the Constitution of India intact, also contained the promise to omit Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The said provision prescribes punishment for the offence of sedition. Moreover, the Congress also claimed in its manifesto that the provision has been misused time and again and has become redundant.
It must be noted that the provision relating to sedition is crucial for ensuring the sovereignty and integrity of the country. It is indispensable in order to crack down on secessionist elements and those spreading hatred against the nation in public discourse. In the recent past, the provision came into application after the JNU sedition episode, after which the entire opposition including the Congress had come out in support of those raising divisive and anti-India slogans. It is clear that in order to appease divisive elements, the Congress has now promised to amend the IPC and do away with the offence of sedition.
Now, Rajnath Singh has not only slammed the Congress for its deplorable stand on the offence and its related punishment, he has also stated that the BJP will make it even more stringent after it comes back to power. He said, “If someone tries to break India, should they be forgiven? They say they will end the sedition law, to whom are they giving a signal? If our government comes to power we will make the sedition law even more stringent.” The Union Home Minister also came down heavily on the former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah for his statement that there should be a Prime Minister in Jammu & Kashmir. Rajnath Singh said, “A former J&K CM said there should be two PMs in India, one for J&K and other for rest of the country. I’ve given a warning, if a demand for 2 PMs is made in India then we have no other option but to repeal article 370 & 35A.”
Union Home Min Rajnath Singh in Botad, Gujarat: A former J&K CM said there should be two PMs in India, one for J&K and other for rest of the country. I've given a warning, if a demand for 2 PMs is made in India then we have no other option but to repeal article 370 & 35A. (12.4) pic.twitter.com/hkO0UzdrBb
— ANI (@ANI) April 12, 2019
The stance of the two parties on issues such as sedition and Article 370 sufficiently explain the difference between them. While the Congress has given precedence to electoral publicity over national security, the BJP has made it clear that it will not compromise with national security at any cost.
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