SP MP sparks controversy by comparing Jinnah to Gandhi, Nehru

SP MP sparks controversy by comparing Jinnah to Gandhi, Nehru

Newly elected Samajwadi Party MP Praveen Nishad on Friday sparked a controversy by comparing the contributions of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru to that of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, during the freedom struggle.

His remarks come after violence broke out at the Aligarh Muslim University on Wednesday following a row over Jinnah's portrait on the campus, triggering a right-wing protest and sparring between BJP leaders.

"The BJP is playing dirty politics in the name of Jinnah which is highly condemnable. Nehru and Gandhi contributed for the freedom of the country but it cannot be denied that Jinnah equally contributed for it," Nishad told reporters here.

"The people of a certain religion have become so-called nationalists," he said.

The SP leader said keeping in view the 2019 general elections, the BJP was trying to "divide the people in the name of religion and caste. We are citizens of this country and Muslim brothers are also citizens and whoever has taken birth in the country belongs to it and has equal rights".

India belongs to all citizens and let no one pose any threat to its unity, he said.

"When we take the name of Bhagat Singh, we also take the name of Ashfaqulla Khan and Veer Abdul Hameed who sacrificed their lives for the county but the BJP wants the country to forget their names," Nishad said.

He said Hindus and Muslims equally contributed for the country's freedom, "but the BJP wants communal riots for political gains".

Nishad accused the saffron party of trying to polarise the people ahead of the 2019 polls and said, "We won't let them play this dirty game."