Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday accused the BJP of mixing religion with politics and said the party leaders were “crossing limits”.
Referring to the election campaign in Uttar Pradesh, he said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is repeatedly going to the poll-bound state. Why is he going there? You are mixing religion with politics for elections. Religion is a personal matter.”
“Be it Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah or Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, they all are crossing the limits and moving ahead in that manner,” Gehlot told reporters after attending the Congress party's training camp at Bada Padampura area near here.
He also alleged that an atmosphere of hate was being created on social media against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, but “such elements are now being exposed”. “These people are getting exposed, whether it is the issue about China, unemployment or inflation. Rahul Gandhi speaks on every issue, and the country, young people listen…,” he said.
“Rahul Gandhi started a debate on Hindu versus Hindutva, and there is a need to understand its meaning,” he said. Gandhi had at a rally in Jaipur said India was a country of Hindus and not Hindutvadis, saying that it was the latter who wanted to be in power in any condition. He added that if there was inflation in the country and there was suffering, then this had been done by Hindutvadis.
Gehlot said the crux of what Gandhi had said was that on one hand, “there is the Hindu whose great values have been there for centuries, having the expressions of love and brotherhood, while on the other hand, there are forces which are doing politics in the name of Hindutva and they are pseudo and fake Hindus”.
Extremely provocative speeches inciting violence against Muslims were allegedly made by participants at the event held at Ved Niketan Dham in Uttarakhand's Haridwar from December 16 to 19. It was organised by Yati Narasimhanand, the priest of Dasna temple in Ghaziabad.
Gehlot said the language used at the event was shameful. “We respect the saints and their saffron clothes itself give the message of sacrifice and culture, but the words that some of those saints spoke were shameful and condemnable,” he said.
The senior Congress leader added that people needed to understand that the country was passing through a difficult phase and at such a time, the country needed the Congress organisation, its ideology, policy and programmes.
He asserted that no matter how much force is used, the agenda of “Congress-free India” will not be fulfilled. “Those who talk of 'Congress Mukt Bharat' will become 'Mukt',” he said.
“Congress rules in the hearts of the people across the country. Everyone knows that in the freedom struggle, how many people went to jail and made sacrifices and gave the message of unity which forced the British to quit India,” he said.
Gehlot said Congress workers should take a pledge to strengthen the party by following and spreading its principles, policies and programmes.
“I would like to tell the party workers that the future of the country depends on you. You should brainstorm on the current situation, unite and stand firmly with the common man. Unite to face the challenges which are there in front of the country, be it inflation or unemployment,” he added.
With inputs from PTI.