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Sanatan Dharma Row: Congress Cites 'Sarvadharma Sambhav', Removes Itself From Stalin Junior's Remarks

The Congress on Thursday said it did not agree with the remarks of DMK leaders Udhayanidhi Stalin and A Raja on Sanatan Dharma and asserted the party believed in 'sarvadharma sambhav' (equal respect to all religions).

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Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera
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The Congress on Thursday said it did not agree with the remarks of DMK leaders Udhayanidhi Stalin and A Raja on Sanatan Dharma and asserted the party believed in "sarvadharma sambhav" (equal respect to all religions).

The opposition party also asserted that every single member of the INDIA alliance has immense respect for all faiths, communities and beliefs.

The assertion came amid a political row after DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin blamed Sanatan Dharma for promoting division and discrimination among people and said it should be eradicated. Also, DMK leader A Raja reportedly said Sanatan Dharma should be compared to diseases such as AIDS and leprosy that have a social stigma attached to them.

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Asked about comments by leaders of ally DMK, Congress' media and publicity department head Pawan Khera said, "The Congress has always believed in 'sarvadharma sambhav' wherein every religion, every faith has its space. No one can treat any particular faith as less than another faith."

"Neither the Constitution allows this nor the Indian National Congress believes in any of these comments," Khera said during a press conference at the AICC headquarters here.

"If you know the history of the Indian National Congress you would know that we have always maintained (this stand) and you will find the same principles in the Constituent Assembly debates and the Constitution of India. There can never be a rethink on the Constitution as far as the Congress is concerned," he said.

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Pressed further as to why the Congress had not condemned the remarks, Khera said, "I just said we do not agree with such comments."

Asked if the Congress would raise this with its ally DMK, Khera said there is no need to raise these issues because "we know for a fact that each one of our constituents also respects every religion".

"Now if you want to twist anybody's remarks, they are free to do so. If it suits the PM let him twist those remarks but every single member of the INDIA alliance has immense respect for all faiths, communities, beliefs and religions," he said.

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