Rahul calling Cong 'Muslim party' irks BJP

The Congress chief must come out and tell very clearly what he meant when he said that the Congress was a Muslim party, senior BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here at a press conference. PTI file photo.

Accusing the Congress of "playing a dangerous game" ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections, the BJP on Friday asked main Opposition Congress party to come clean on a media report on Rahul Gandhi calling his political outfit a Muslim party.

Stating that the main Opposition party will be solely responsible if any disharmony plays out between now and 2019 LS polls, senior  BJP leader and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanded that the Congress chief "tell very clearly" what his claim meant.

She told a press conference, "It is playing up the card of religion and communal division. It may lead to the kind of division and communal disharmony which prevailed during 1947 partition." 

The BJP offensive came after an Urdu paper reported the purported comments by Gandhi, which was rubbished by the Congress as false.

Creating disharmony

Countering the BJP attack, Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev told reporters, "Through this press meet, Sitharaman is trying to create communal disharmony. Congress believes in secularism. She should instead address concerns about rising unemployment and scams in the country."

"When the Prime Minister goes to Uttar Pradesh and talks about 'shamshaan and kabristan', is that not polarisation? Biggest communal riots took place in Gujarat when Modi was chief minister, and he still hasn't taken any moral responsibility for it," Dev said.

Divide mindset

Sitharaman claimed that minority appeasement by Congress has peaked in recent days. "Rahul said that the Congress is a Muslim party. He must come clean and clarify his statement. The Congress president met Muslim intellectuals and said Muslims are the next Dalits. He also said how his party plans to correct the course. This is an attempt to incite religion-based clashes," she said.

She said if one went by the recent statements of Congress leaders, it gives an impression that the country's oldest party is "getting back to its divide India" mindset.

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Rahul calling Cong 'Muslim party' irks BJP

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