Amid the politics over the death of a female elephant in Kerala, the Congress on Thursday slammed BJP for giving communal colour to the incident and demanded unconditional apology.
In a statement, Congress General Secretary (Organisations) K.C. Venugopal said: "The BJP must tender an unqualified and unconditional public apology for giving communal colour to the most unfortunate incident of the killing of a pregnant elephant in Kerala."
His remarks came amid the death of a pregnant elephant caused by eating a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers in Kerala's Palakkad district.
How BJP reacted to the incident?
The pregnant elephant had died in the slushy water of the river Velliyar on May 25. Venugopal was responding to remarks made by Union Minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar and senior BJP leader Maneka Gandhi.
Earlier on Thursday, Javadekar, who is the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in a tweet said: "Central government has taken a very serious note of the killing of an elephant in Mallapuram, Kerala. We will not leave any stone unturned to investigate properly and nab the culprit(s). This is not an Indian culture to feed firecrackers and kill."
Maneka Gandhi, who is also an animal right activist while targeting the state government said, "Malappurram is known for its intense criminal activity specially with regards to animals. No action has ever been taken against a single poacher or wildlife killer so they keep doing it".
Describing the incident as unfortunate and most cruel, Venugopal said: "The incident invited condemnation and criticism across the world. Any kind of mindless and unreasonable violence against wild life is totally unacceptable and unjustifiable."
Congress leader bashes BJP
Slamming the BJP leaders, the congress leader from Kerala accused the BJP leaders of spreading false information. "Although, the incident took place in Palakkad district, the Ministers and right-wing trolls are relating the incident to the neighbouring Malappuram district. They are deliberately spreading communally motivated false information on the district," he said.
He said, furthermore, without any connection whatsoever, they even dragged the name of former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in this diabolic incident.
"This propaganda has proven once again that the BJP will stoop to any level to twist the facts for their narrow divisive political purposes. They are shedding crocodile tears over the incident and this divisive propaganda has exposed BJP's hypocrisy totally," the Congress leader added. Earlier in the day, Congress treasurer Ahmed Patel has lashed out to people who want to take advantage of the situation and misrepresent facts to divide the society.
Patel tweeted: "It is sad that the climate in our country has become so bitter that even in the tragic death of an elephant, some are trying to misrepresent the facts to twist into an issue of one community Vs the other?"
Meanwhile, Kerala forest department team probing the killing of the pregnant elephant is leant to have taken two persons into custody. The local Manarakadu police station on Wednesday registered a case in the gruesome incident.
(With inputs from IANS)