West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday subtly distanced herself from Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin over his "Sanatana Dharma" remarks.
Banerjee said: “We should not be involved in any matter which might hurt a section of people.”
Udhayanidhi remarks have set off a political maelstrom ahead of a string of state elections and drawn multiple BJP barbs.
It also appears to have put Opposition bloc INDIA in a dilemma, calling upon diplomatic skills of the leaders to preserve unity.
"As far as the remarks (of Udhayanidhi Stalin) is concerned, he is a junior. From my side, I am not clear about why and on what grounds he has made the comment. I feel that each and every religion should be equally respected," Banerjee said.
"I respect the people of Tamil Nadu and South India. But my humble request to them is that to respect all as every religion has separate sentiments," Banerjee said.
"I respect the Sanatana Dharma and we derive our learnings from the Vedas... We have so many purohits and our state government offers pension to them... We have so many temples across the country. We visit temples, mosques, and churches,” she said.
Earlier, Udhayanidhi Stalin has sparked a row after he compared Sanatana dharma with "dengue" and "malaria".
He said that it should not just be opposed, but "eradicated".
Udhayanidhi Stalin has said Sanatana dharma is against social justice and equality.
"Rather than opposing Sanatana, it should be eradicated. The name Sanatana is from Sanskrit. It is against social justice and equality," Udhayanidhi Stalin had said.
Later, Udhayanidhi Stalin had issued clarification.
Udhayanidhi Stalin said he never called for the "genocide" of people who were Sanatana dharma followers.
"I never called for the genocide of people who are following Sanatan Dharma. Sanatan Dharma is a principle that divides people in the name of caste and religion. Uprooting Sanatan Dharma is upholding humanity and human equality," he had said.
He added: "I will say it today, tomorrow and forever -- our resolve to stop Sanatana dharma from the Dravidian land would not reduce even a bit," he said.