New Delhi: Accusing the Congress and the Left of practising "ideological intolerance" towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its "worst victim".
"Over the decades, they have practised ideological intolerance towards the BJP. Since 2002, the prime minister himself has been the worst victim of ideological intolerance," Jaitley said in a statement.
Asserting that the government led by Narendra Modi was making all efforts to accelerate India's growth, Jaitley said there were many, including the Congress, leftist thinkers and activists, who never intellectually accepted the idea of the BJP being in power.
"Their strategy is two-fold. Firstly, obstruct parliament and do not permit reforms which will bring credit to the Modi government. Secondly, create, by structured and organised propaganda, an environment that there is a social strife in India," he said.
Terming the Dadri lynching incident "unfortunate and condemnable", Jaitley accused the opposition parties of projecting India as an "intolerant society".
"They wish to project India as an intolerant society. The truth is otherwise. Perpetrators of this propaganda never allowed alternative viewpoints to grow in either universities and academic institutions or cultural bodies that they controlled. Their intolerance extends to non-acceptance of an alternative ideological pole," he said.
Those guilty of the Dadri incident would be taken to task, Jaitley said adding that India had always rejected intolerance and remained a highly tolerant and liberal society.
"Our cultural values have imbibed co-existence. India has repeatedly rejected intolerance. It does not respond to provocations," said Jaitley, who also holds the portfolios of corporate affairs and information and broadcasting.
He said it was incumbent upon every well-wisher of the country and the present government to make sure that no action or statement of his provided a tool in the hands of those who want to obstruct India's growth story.
"The obstructors have a simple plan -- if they can't fight politically, they fight with hostile propaganda," Jaitley said.