The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government on Tueday dismissed Sonia Gandhi's attack on it over the "rise" in communal riots since it assumed power, saying it was not necessary to comment on her "off the cuff" remarks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already made his stand clear.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh told reporters that he did not think "we should attach much importance to what somebody was saying" as we live in "evidence-based era of arguments".
"The Prime Minister's and government's stand on these issues (communal violence) is more than clear. The issue came up in Parliament and the government made its position very clear. The Home Minister made a very elaborate statement in Parliament yesterday," he said.
Speaking at an event in Thiruvananthapuram, Gandhi had said that the recurrence of communal violence in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and other parts of the country was a "matter of grave concern". It was a deliberate attempt to divide the society, she said.
The party's Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had said a few days back that communal conflicts in UP had been "deliberately engineered".
"There has been an increase in communal violence in the country since 11 weeks of the BJP-led Government coming to power at the Centre... These were deliberately created to divide the people," she said addressing a special convention organised by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).
Modi had in his speech at the BJP's national Council meet on August 9 blamed "vote-bank politics" of Congress and ruling Samajawadi Party in UP for riots in the state.
"BJP never accepts such incidents (of violence). Peace, unity, harmony and brotherhood are the pre-requisites of progress and there will be no compromise on this.
"Some people who have suffered a massive defeat are still not able to desist from engaging in old vote-bank politics. They are engaged in disturbing the social fabric of the country," Modi had said.