PM Modi reacts after Lenin, Periyar statues vandalised; expresses "strong disapproval”

NEW DELHI: After two statues of Vladimir Lenin were brought down in Tripura and a Periyar statue was vandalised in Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the incidents. "Incidents of toppling of statues have been reported from certain parts of the country. MHA has taken serious note of such incidents of vandalism. PM Shri Narendra Modi spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh in this regard and has expressed strong disapproval of such incidents, the Home Ministry said. The MHA has asked the state governments that they must take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents. "Persons indulging in such acts must be sternly dealt with and booked under relevant provisions of law," the ministry said.

PM Shri @narendramodi spoke to HM Shri @rajnathsingh in this regard and has expressed strong disapproval of such incidents.

— HMO India (@HMOIndia) March 7, 2018 The MHA issued the advisory after Lenin statues in Tripua and Periyar statue in Tamil Nadu were targetted. BJP chief Amit Shah also condemned the recent incidents of vandalisation of statues in Tripura and Tamil Nadu as "extremely unfortunate". "The recent issue on destroying of statues is extremely unfortunate. We as a party do not support the bringing down of anybody’s statue," Shah said. "As a party, we in the BJP believe that a wide range of ideas and ideologies can coexist in India. This is exactly how the makers of our Constitution envisioned our great nation to be. India’s diversity and the vibrant spirit of debate and discussion is what strengthens us," the BJP chief wrote on Twitter.

As a party, we in the BJP believe that a wide range of ideas and ideologies can coexist in India. This is exactly how the makers of our Constitution envisioned our great nation to be. India’s diversity and the vibrant spirit of debate and discussion is what strengthens us.

— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 7, 2018 "I have spoken to the party units in both Tamil Nadu and Tripura. Any person associated with the BJP found to be involved with destroying any statue will face severe action from the party." Shah said his party will always remain committed to ideals of openness and constructive politics.

I have spoken to the party units in both Tamil Nadu and Tripura. Any person associated with the BJP found to be involved with destroying any statue will face severe action from the party.

— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 7, 2018 "Our main aim is to bring a transformative change in the lives of the people. We are humbled by the fact that our ethos and work has endeared us to people all across India and our alliance is serving in over 20 states as a part of the Government," he said. The statues in Tripura were pulled down just days after the Left was defeated in Assembly polls by the BJP and its ally IPFT, which together won a two-third majority in the House in a state where the CPIM was in power for 25 years. Also, a statue of Jansangh founder Syama Prasad Mukherjee was targetted in Kolkata on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party leader from Tamil Nadu H Raja has apologised for a Facebook that advocated the demolition of Periyar statues in the state. "The post was shared by the admins of my page without my permission. As soon as I came to know about it, I deleted the post," Raja said. A statue of social reformer and founder of Dravidian movement E V Ramasamy "Periyar" was vandalised in Tamil Nadu's Vellore district on Tuesday night. BJP leader H Raja said in a Facebook post in Tamil said, "Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection India has with Communists? Today Lenin's statue removed in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of EV Ramasamy in Tamil Nadu." The post was subsequently deleted. It drew condemnation from several political parties in the state. Political parties including DMK, MDMK and the Left lashed out at Raja, a BJP National Secretary, with DMK Working President M K Stalin leading the charge seeking his detention under the 'Goondas Act'. Rationalist Ramasamy or Periyar -- as he is respectfully called in Tamil Nadu -- is considered as a tall leader of the Dravidian movement. He founded the self-respect movement in the state.

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