Vice-President elect M. Venkaiah Naidu, a day before his swearing-in ceremony, on Thursday said that the agenda of politics should be development, while also adding that India is the most tolerant country in the world.
"India is the most tolerant country. Indian ethos is of mutual respect for each other. People try to use minority issues for political purposes," he said.
"Unfortunately, some people are trying to blow it out of proportion and trying to defame India, raising it to national forum," he added.
This came after outgoing vice-president Hamid Ansari asserted that "there is a feeling of unease and a sense of insecurity among the Muslims in the country."
In his last interview on Wednesday, before demitting the office, Ansari said that the Muslims in the country were experiencing a "feeling of unease."
"A sense of insecurity is creeping in as a result of the dominant mood created by some and the resultant intolerance and vigilantism," Ansari said, in an interview to Rajya Sabha TV.
He referred to incidents of lynching and alleged killings as a "breakdown of Indian values, breakdown of the ability of the authorities at different levels in different places to be able to enforce what should be normal law enforcing work and over all the very fact that Indianness of any citizen being questioned is a disturbing thought."
On a related note, in his last address as the Ansari said that democracy would turn into tyranny, if opposition groups are not given the right to free criticism, adding that a democracy is distinguished by the protection it gives to minority.
"A democracy is distinguished by the protection it gives to minority. Democracy is likely to degenerate into a tyranny if it does not allow the opposition groups to criticise freely and frankly the policies of the government. But at the same time, the minorities have also their responsibilities," he said, quoting former president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan during his farewell speech at the Rajya Sabha.