Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who has been accused in the past of backing Zakir Naik and has admitted to sharing a stage with him, has sparked off a controversy by sharing a video on social media where hate preacher claims to have been approached by a representative of PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to support the government over its move to abrogate Article 370 from J&K and soothe its relations with Muslims.
In the video, Naik claims the government offered to drop cases against him and extend an olive branch to him to return to India from Malaysia.
On Twitter, Digvijaya Singh, while sharing the video, wrote, "Modi-Shah are engaged in deal-making with Dr. Zakir Naik while they have kept him in the category of traitor. What is their strategy?"
Dr. Zakir Naik के खुलासे से हड़कंप, Modi के ऑफर को ठुकराया https://t.co/tG0mHoWmRs via @YouTube— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) January 15, 2020
ज़रूर देखें डॉ ज़ाकिर नाइक जिसे मोदी शाह “देश द्रोही” की श्रेणी में रखे हुए हैं उनके साथ भी मोदी शाह सौदे बाज़ी में लगे थे। उनकी strategy क्या है?
In a series of following tweets, the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister targeted the Modi government listing six things that they do to those who disagree with them.
- Try to convince
- If not convinced, then threaten
- Still not convinced, tempt with money or position
- Still not convinced, then defame with unscrupulous allegations
- If convinced, then drop the allegations; if not then label as traitor and propogate that
- If there is an opportunity when it can be used, they do what Dr. Zakir Naik has mentioned
जो उन से असहमत है— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) January 15, 2020
१- उसे मनाओ
२- नहीं मानता है तो उसे धमकी दो
३- फिर भी नहीं मानता है उसे पद या पैसे की लालच दो
४- फिर भी नहीं मानता है तो उस पर झूठे आरोप लगा कर बदनाम करो
५- मान जाता है तो सारे आरोप ख़ारिज और नहीं मानता है तो उस पर राष्ट्रद्रोही होने का आरोप लगाओ और खूब प्रचारित करो— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) January 15, 2020
६- यदि ऐसा मौक़ा आता है जब उसका उपयोग किया जा सकता है तो वे वही करते हैं जिसका उल्लेख डॉ ज़ाकिर नाइक ने किया है।
Digvijaya Singh went on to say that PM Modi and Amit Shah must deny Naik's allegation, failing which the latter's statement can be believed as correct. "The Prime Minister and the Home Minister should duly deny Dr. Zakir Naik's charge. If they do not, then it is believed that the accusation of "traitor" Dr. Zakir Naik is correct." Singh tweeted.
However, when confronted on the BJP claiming Naik enjoyed support from Congress, Digvijaya Singh backtracked and said Congress never "officially" supported Dr. Zakir Naik. "Absolutely wrong allegation. Congress never officially supported Dr. Zakir Naik. It is true I had addressed a Communal Harmony conference in Mumbai from his platform but you can go through his speech in that conference, at no point he made any communally sensitive statement." he said on Twitter.
BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao slammed the Congressman for his remarks and sharing of the video, calling Singh "ambassador of Zakir Naik in India". Speaking to Republic TV, Rao said, "Digvijaya Sing is exposing himself by putting such tweets. Only people like Digvijaya Singh and Rahul Gandhi can give any credence to Zakir Naik's lies. By taking statements of Zakir Naik on face value, Digvijaya Singh is acting as an ambassador of Zakir Naik in India. He is only helping someone accused of criminal offences."
India has been seeking the extradition of Naik, a 53-year-old radical television preacher, who left India in 2016 and subsequently moved to Malaysia. Naik was booked by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in 2016 based on an FIR, registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, by the National Investigation Agency. The ED said Naik received funds worth crores of rupees in his and his trusts' bank accounts from unidentified "well-wishers" over the years for his speeches that spread "hatred and incited Muslim youths" to take up terrorism.