Amid growing controversy over his remarks that the BJP will make India a "Hindu Pakistan" if it wins in 2019, Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor said the BJP should say on record that they do not believe in the idea of Hindu Rashtra and that will end the debate.
"I don't see what exactly I need to apologise for BJP's point of view. I'm repeating what is on record from BJP&RSS.If they are no longer interested in the idea of Hindu Rashtra they must admit.Until they do so,how can one apologise for reflecting their point accurately," he said.
"If BJP does not believe in Hindu Rashtra concept then they should say it on record that we do not believe in a Hindu Rashtra but in a secular republic. This would end the debate," he said.
The Congress leader on Wednesday said that if Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wins 2019 Lok Sabha elections it will create a condition leading to the formation of a 'Hindu Pakistan'.
Addressing an event in Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor further stated that the BJP will write a new Constitution which will pave the way for a nation, much like Pakistan, where rights of minorities are not respected.
"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," he added.
"That new one will be the one which will enshrine principles of Hindu Rashtra, that will remove equality for minorities, that'll create a Hindu Pakistan and that isn't what Mahatama Gandhi, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad and great heroes of freedom struggle fought for," he added.
Meanwhile, criticising Tharoor's statement, the BJP demanded Congress president Rahul Gandhi's apology.
Speaking to ANI, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, "Rahul Gandhi must apologise for what Shashi Tharoor 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 also took to Twitter and said that the Congress doesn't lose any opportunity to demean India and defame Hindus.