Congress leader Shashi Tharoor raked up fresh controversy on Wednesday with his remark that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will turn India into Hindu Pakistan if it wins the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
"If they (BJP) win a repeat in the Lok Sabha, our democratic constitution, as we understand it, will not survive as they will have all the elements they need to tear apart the Constitution of India and write a new one," Tharoor was quoted as saying by ANI during his speech on 'Challenges to Indian Democracy and Secularism' at a gathering in Kerala. He further alleged that BJP's "new" Constitution will remove equality for minorities.
That new one will be the one which will enshrine principles of Hindu Rashtra, that'll remove equality for minorities, that'll create a Hindu Pakistan & that isn't what Mahatama Gandhi, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad & great heroes of freedom struggle fought for: Shashi Tharoor pic.twitter.com/RYjtbBYQzl
" ANI (@ANI) July 11, 2018
According to Manorama Online, the Congress MP said a two-third majority in the Rajya Sabha was the only thing that has stood in BJP's way so far. "They already have more than 20 states under their belt, so a Rajya Sabha majority looks near... Now if they could muster what they managed during the last Lok Sabha polls, India is done for," the report quoted him as saying. Tharoor's comments did not go down well with the BJP. BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra demanded an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi over Tharoor's comments and accused the Congress of "defaming" Hindus. "Rahul Gandhi must apologise for what (Shashi) Tharoor has said. Congress was responsible for creation of Pakistan because of its ambitions. Yet again it has gone ahead to demean India and defame Hindus of India," Patra was quoted as saying by ANI. Patra also lashed out at the Congress on Twitter.
MR Sashi Tharoor says India will become "Hindu-Pakistan" if BJP returns to power in 2019! Shameless @INCIndia doesn't lose any opportunity to demean India & defame the Hindus! From "Hindu terrorists" to "Hindu-Pakistan" the Pak appeasing policies of Cong are unparalleled! " Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) July 11, 2018
Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana said that the voters will respond to Congress' "nonsense".
Whatever @ShashiTharoor said shows the mindset of @INCIndia .1st Hindu terror now Hindu Pakistan shows @RahulGandhi policy is to demean India and Hindus have been exposed many times.I think in 2019 voters of India will give reply to all this nonsense.@BJP4India @BJP4Delhi " Harish Khurana (@HarishKhuranna) July 12, 2018
The remark also prompted reactions from other users on the micro-blogging website:
Tharoor has been a vocal critic of the BJP-led government at the Centre. In May, he had said that India was not safe in the hands of the BJP. "...unfortunately, the evidence we have seen in the last four years (of the NDA rule) does not suggest that this country is safe in the hands of the present government," he said at a press conference in Lucknow.
During an interactive event in Mumbai in April, Tharoor accused the ruling BJP of "wounding" India's soul by "unleashing forces of intolerance, hatred and bigotry". He also said that Hindutva is a political ideology of the BJP which has nothing to do with religion.