Digvijay slams BJP for caste politics on Hanuman

Digvijay slams BJP for caste politics on Hanuman

enior Congress leader Digvijay Singh during the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)

Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Sunday demanded an apology from BJP leaders for "dragging" Lord Hanuman into the politics of "caste and creed".

Singh also said Hindu bodies like the VHP and Akhada Parishad should condemn the statements made by the BJP leaders over the Hindu deity who is worshipped as an incarnation of Lord Shiva.

"(Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi) Adityanath ji said Lord Hanuman was dalit. BJP's MLC Nawab Bukkal dubbed the deity a Muslim on the ground that his name rhymed with Islamic names like Rahman, Farhan, Ramzan etc. Another BJP minister said Hanuman was a Jat," he told reporters here.

Singh said Hindus considered Lord Hanuman as an incarnation of Lord Shiva.

"You are dragging Hanuman ji into politics of caste and creed, which religion you are following? I have a strong objection to this. Who are you to talk like this, you (BJP leaders) should apologise", he said.

The Congress veteran demanded that organisations like Akhada Parishad, an apex body of 13 major "akhadas" or ascetic denominations, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) condemn the statements made by the BJP leaders and snap ties with them.

Addressing a public meeting during the campaigning for recent-held assembly elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had reportedly said Lord Hanuman, one of the central figures in epic Ramayana, was a dalit.

Last week, Bukkal Nawab, a BJP MLC from Uttar Pradesh, claimed that the monkey god was a Muslim while UP's Religious Affairs Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary stated that the Hindu deity belonged to the Jat community.

Singh also took a jibe at former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan's "Tiger Abhi Zinda Hai" remark, which he made against the backdrop of the BJP's loss in recent assembly polls in the state.

"The tiger is now devoid of nails and teeth. The responsibility of protection of the endangered tiger lies with us (newly formed Congress government)", he said.

Responding to a query on suicide allegedly committed by a 45-year-old tribal farmer in Khandwa district, apparently after he failed to avail recently-announced crop loan waiver due to cut-off date criterion, Singh said the Congress, when it was in opposition, had announced in June this year that loan of farmers would be waived if the party got elected.

"I do not have details of this (the suicide). We had announced to waive loans of farmers in June 2018. Loans of farmers who had loan outstanding during this period (till June 2018), will be waived", he said.

Singh also alleged that the CBI is suppressing the Vyapam scam--a multi-crore recruitment and admission racket which came to light in 2013 when the BJP was in power.

"We are studying about the steps to be taken in this regard", he said.