New Delhi: On a day 24 filmmakers and writers - including Arundhati Roy, Saeed Mirza and Kundan Shah - announced return of their national awards, the BJP on Thursday blamed the Congress and CPI-M for "misleading the country on the issue of rising intolerance".
Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah released a book titled 'Ideological Difference' to counter the debate on intolerance and highlight the party's viewpoint on the current situation.
"The book's purpose is to highlight the other side of the story. Only one side of the story was highlighted so far. Now the truth is coming out. We want the general public of India to know the other view also through this book," senior BJP leader and union minister Venkaiah Naidu told media persons here.
"Wrong information was given. Through this book, we are releasing facts of what happened earlier and (what is happening) now," he said.
"Political intolerance is the trait of the Congress party. We have seen what respect they give to their party president. They did not allow the body of a late party president to enter the party office. Sita Ram Kesri was physically moved from the chair and removed. Under Communist Party of India-Marxist's philosophy, intolerance towards the opponents is known to all. Why the so-called intellectuals did not raise their voices earlier and why are they doing it now," he asked.
Naidu said that for 60 years, the Congress and its dependents were in power at the Centre and states.
"They have an octopus-like presence in most academic and cultural institutions. The left intellectuals had a field day since they were the beneficiaries of the patronisation of the Congress party," the union minister said.
"In 1969, a split in the Congress occurred and the communist party lent them a helping hand. There was a quid pro quo understanding between the two. All academic institutions in the country were handed over to the Left party. The impact of the Communist Party in the country has declined since then, but their influence over the institutions has increased," he added.
"The political presence of the Communist Party since then has become minuscule. The entire strength of the Left political parties in India is not even four percent," Naidu said.
"Some people have made an issue out of the unfortunate events that have happened in some states. The entire effort is to derail the developmental agenda of the Narendra Modi government. We have a vested interest in peace because without peace there is no progress. Time and again, our prime minister has said that his agenda is development," he added.