Row over Digvijaya Singh’s ‘saffron-clad rapist’ remarks

Milind Ghatwai
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. (File Photo)

In an apparent dig at rape accused BJP leader Chinmayanand, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh Tuesday said some saffron-clad people were indulging in selling churan and committing rapes by defaming the Sanatan Dharma.

While addressing a Sant Samagam (gathering of saints) organised by the Congress government in Bhopal, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said, "Saffron-clad people are selling churan, (some) saffron-clad are committing rapes, rapes are taking place in temples. Is it our religion? God will not pardon those who have defamed our sanatan dharma."

The senior leader, who began his speech with the slogan "Jai Siyaram", said "Jai Sri Ram" had been given political colour by some people. "Why do they forget Sitaji," he said while appealing to the audience to raise only Jai Siyaram slogan.

Digvijaya’s remark comes after former BJP MP Chinmayanand was accused by a 23-year-old law student of sexually assaulting her for a year. An SIT has been constituted on the orders of the Supreme Court to probe the case.

BJP’s state spokesman Rajneesh Agrawal condemned Digvijaya’s statement, saying he was spreading distrust for all saints who wear saffron. Accusing the Congress leader of playing into the hands of missionaries, Agrawal said, "If someone is guilty or is an accused it does not make the saffron suspicious. Will you express the same thoughts for the clothes worn by Maulavis and priests?"

Agrawal questioned Chief Minister Kamal Nath on whether he intended to insult the saints by inviting them to such an event. He also said that Jai Sri Ram and Jai Siyaram were not slogans but mantras for the people of this country and time would teach Congress a lesson if they do not understand it.

Digvijaya’s remarks, however, were appreciated by the gathering that comprised saffron and white-clad saints, as he praised the Sanatan Dharma, calling it as the oldest in the world.

This is not the first time Digvijaya Singh has been in news for his controversial remarks. On September 1, he claimed that more non-Muslims are spying for ISI than Muslims in India . He also accused the BJP and Bajrang Dal of working on behalf of Pakistan s ISI.