Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was cautioned today by his party and urged to keep “restraint and caution” even as he firmly defended his comments on the BJP making India a “Hindu Pakistan” if it comes to power in 2019. “Why should I apologise when they themselves enshrine the ideals of a Hindu Rashtra,” the parliamentarian told NDTV.
The ruling BJP has reacted with outrage and demanded his apology over his comments on Wednesday.
Speaking on the topic “Threats faced by Indian Democracy and Secularism” at an event, the Congress MP said: “…the great danger then is that if they are able to win a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha, then frankly our democratic constitution as we understand will not survive because they will have all the three elements they need to tear up the Constitution of India and write a new one. That will be a new one which will enshrine the principle of Hindu Rashtra, will remove equality for minorities, that will create a Hindu Pakistan.”
Speaking to NDTV on the controversy over his comment, Mr Tharoor said: “It is clear that the BJP has stood for a Hindu Rashtra, it is a part of the official ideology of the party. The PM has asked the party to read about the thoughts and ideas of Deen Dayal Upadhya, who did not believe in the constitution. These leaders believe the constitution and nation should be built for Hindu people. The PM (Narendra Modi) has never said he disagrees with this.”
Asked to respond to BJP’s demand for Congress presidet Rahul Gandhi’s apology, he said this has always been his stand and he had said the same in 2013.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra had 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.”