Congress distances from Tharoor's 'Hindu Pakistan' remark
New Delhi (India), July 12 : The Congress party on Thursday distanced itself from Shashi Tharoor's 'Hindu Pakistan' jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and said that the senior party leader made the statement in his personal capacity.
Party spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said every citizen of the country knows how strong our democracy is and Indian democracy will never allow the country to turn into Pakistan. I would request all Congress leaders to be more vigilant with their choice of words."
Other leaders, however, while distancing from Tharoor, added that the BJP is playing the communal card.
Priyanka Chaturvedi, the senior spokesperson of the party, told ANI that Tharoor made the statement in his personal capacity. But she added that the Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh (RSS) and "its proponents" are trying to polarise the nation.
She said, "Hinduism is a religion that always believed that the world is a family. We worship more than 250 Gods, we are not a country that would bow down to one thought and one ideology, as the RSS and its proponents are trying to propagate."
"The party believes that the Hindutva ideology has been rejected by the people of the country. If the BJP is trying to impose, it's not embarrassing. We are a party that has different voices, and we are not going to disrespect anybody's point of view."
Tharoor on Tuesday also said 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 Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad and great heroes of freedom struggle fought for," he added.
Congress leader PL Punia, echoed Chaturvedi and told ANI that even though he does not endorse the usage of "Hindu Pakistan", he believes that the BJP does not accept the present Constitution, and is eager to change it to suit their ideology.
He said, "Shashi Tharoor is the best person to explain his statement. But one thing is clear that the BJP believes that there should be changes made in the Constitution; the Constitution of today is not acceptable to the BJP."
Party Spokesperson, Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, "Modi Govt thrives upon an unprecedented atmosphere of division, bigotry, hatred, intolerance and polarisation for last 4 years. Congress, on the other hand, represents India's civilisational values of pluralism, diversity, compassion and harmony between faiths and ethnicities. India's values and fundamentals are an unequivocal guarantee of our civilisational role and set us apart from the divisive idea of Pakistan. All Congress leaders must realise this historic responsibility bestowed upon us while choosing words and phraseology to reject BJP's hatred."
The BJP, however, demanded that Congress president Rahul Gandhi should apologise for Tharoor's remark.