New Delhi: ‘Lynchings are not new in India, such incidents took place earlier as well’, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah while responding to Bajaj Group Chairman Rahul Bajaj, who pointed out ‘intolerance ki hawaa’ at an event yesterday. The Home Minister also claimed that several cases of lynchings have been concluded and ‘strict action has been taken against accused but media does not publish them’.

Notably, Bajaj, during a panel discussion at an Economic Times event, had stated that people are afraid these days due to the growing incidents of lynchings. “Lynchings create ‘intolerance ki hawaa’ jisse hum darte hain… kuchh cheezon ko hum bolna nahin chahte hain par dekhte hain ki koi convict hi nahin hua abhi tak (Lynchings create an environment of intolerance and we are afraid. We see that till now, no one has been convicted)”, the industrialist asserted in presence of Home Minister Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal.

Shah was quick to respond to Bajaj’s assertion. He said that there is ‘no need to fear as no one wants to scare’. Defending the Narendra Modi-led Centre further, the Home Minister stated that the government has run in the most transparent way, and we have no fear of any kind of opposition, and if anyone does criticise, we will look at the ‘merit of the same’ and make efforts to improve ourselves.

Meanwhile, Bajaj also condemned BJP MP Pragya Thakur for her recent controversial remarks wherein she referrred Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin as ‘Deshbhakt’ (patriot). He also questioned her appointment as member of the House panel on defence.

“They call him a partriot despite knowing that he was the killer of Mahatma Gandhi. You gave Pragya Singh Thakur the party ticket. Then made her a member of a Parliamentary Committee even after the Prime Minister had said it would be difficult for him to forgive her (after she had said something similar earlier)”, the industrialist said at the event.

This evoked a quick response from Shah, who said that he and several senior leaders had condemned the Bhopal MP’s statement. “Neither the BJP nor the government supports any such statement. We strongly condemn it,” Shah said, adding Thakur had also apologised for her statement in Parliament.