Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said the BJP-led NDA Government is in favour of freedom of speech and right to dissent and not the nation’s destruction.
“Our directions are guided by the national principles. We fully support freedom of expression. Free speech and thought process of nationality co-exist.there is no duality in that. We fully support that there must be right to dissent and disagreement in the society,” Jaitley briefed the media here on the second day of the BJP’s national executive meet.
He also said the government’s focus is on economic and social inclusion and good governance.
Saying that ideology of nationalism is the driving force for the BJP, he further stated that free speech and nationalism can co-exist.
“The Constitution of the nation gives full freedom to dissent but not to the freedom of the nation’s destruction. So, free speech and nationalism co-exist,” he said.
Commenting on the ongoing controversy over raising the slogan of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, Jaitley said that there should be no debate on this issue.
“People in India should have absolutely no difficulty as far as this slogan is concerned. The best example you saw at the Eden Gardens yesterday,” he said.
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi had stirred a hornet’s nest by rejecting Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s suggestion that the young generation be taught patriotic slogans like ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ stating that he won’t chant the slogan “even if a knife is put to his throat”.
Leaders of various political parties, including the BJP and Congress, have condemned Owaisi’s stance.