Modi speaks tough as more statues are targeted

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday condemned the desecration of 3 statues across India, namely, the bull dozed razing of Lenin's statue in Tripura on Tuesday, the damage of Periyar's statue in Tamil Nadu and the blackening of Syama Prasad Mukherjee's bust in Kolkata.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh Monday asked all political parties to ensure that those found desecrating statues are dealt with strictly and said such incidents of vandalism can never be justified.

Following the strong condemnation by BJP bigwigs and a massive political backlash in Tamil Nadu, state party leader H. Raja expressed heartfelt regrets over his Facebook post suggesting removal of the statue of Dravidian icon Periyar E.V. Ramasamy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to the Mr Singh in this regard.

"Raja's comment indicating that Periyar's statue be removed and the subsequent vandalism were a barbaric act. Today it is Lenin's statue in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of caste fanatic EVR Ramasamy", said the post, which the BJP leader deleted and later disowned after a huge backlash in Tamil Nadu. "We as a party do not support bringing down anybody's statue", he said. In Belonia, South Tripura, a statue of Vladimir Lenin was destroyed by some people chanting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai". The Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP sacked Muthuraman from its basic membership.

On Tuesday, two men vandalised a statue of Periyar in Tirupattur. "What one democratically elected government can do another democratically elected government can undo. Nonsense!", The Governor tweeted on Wednesday morning.

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Thoughts of those who try to create confusion and benefit from it will not succeed, they said.

In Kolkata, in what was seen as retaliation to vandalism of statues of non-Sangh Parivar ideologues, members of an ultra-Left student outfit vandalised and defaced a statue of BJP ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerrjee on Wednesday.

Reacting to the incidents of vandalism, the home ministry issued two separate advisories to states clearly saying that district magistrates and superintendents of police will be held personally responsible for such incidents. "These incidents can never be justified".

In an advisory to all states and union territories, the Home Ministry said incidents of the toppling of statues have been reported from certain parts of the country and it has taken serious note of such incidents of vandalism.

But will the central Government set the example and take actions? It is not about the Left or Right ideology, it is about the law and order, and nothing is above it.

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