Senior Congress leader Shivraj Patil on Thursday claimed that the concept of jihad was not just in Islam but also in Bhagavad Gita and in Christianity.
The BJP hit out at the Congress over Patil's remarks and accused it of playing vote bank politics.
Speaking at the launch of Congress veteran and former Union minister Mohsina Kidwai's biography, the former Lok Sabha Speaker and Union minister Patil stated that it is said there is a lot of discussion of jihad in the religion of Islam. The concept comes to the fore when despite having the right intentions and doing the right thing, nobody understands or reciprocates, then it is said one can use force, he said.
"It is not just in Quran, but in Mahabharata also, the part in Gita, Shri Krishna also talks of jihad to Arjun and this thing is not just in Quran or Gita but also in Christianity," he claimed in his remarks in Hindi.
"If after explaining everything, people are not understanding, they are coming with weapons then you cannot run, you cannot call that jihad and you cannot call it wrong, this is what must be understood, there should not be this concept of making people understand with weapons in hand," the 87-year-old leader said.
Patil further said Mohsina Kidwai's book also talks about respecting all religions while following your own. He also said there is a need for peace in the world.
Hitting out at the Congress over Patil's remarks, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said in a tweet, "After AAP's Gopal Italia & Rajendra Pal, not to be outdone in Hindu hatred & votebank politics, Congress' Shivraj Patil says Shri Krishna taught 'Jihad' to Arjun!
"Congress coined Hindu/Saffron terror, opposed Ram Mandir,Questioned Ram JI's existence, said Hindutva=ISIS," Poonawalla tweeted.
In his speech, Patil also said he voted for Mallikarjun Kharge in the Congress presidential polls. He, however, mistakenly referred to Kharge as Khandelwal a couple of times in the speech.
Patil spoke at length and talked about disparate topics in his address.