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regular-article-logo Sunday, 25 February 2024

Rajnath Singh, Dharmendra Pradhan castigate INDIA bloc over DMK leader’s call to 'eradicate Sanatana Dharma'

Dharmendra Pradhan focuses his attack on Congress, BJP’s principal rival in all the three poll-bound heartland states

J.P. Yadav New Delhi Published 05.09.23, 05:41 AM
Defence minister Rajnath Singh.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh. File photo

Defence minister Rajnath Singh and education minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday castigated the INDIA bloc over DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin’s call to “eradicate Sanatana Dharma”, reaffirming the BJP’s intention of turning the controversy into an election plank.

Speaking at a rally in poll-bound Rajasthan, as Union home minister Amit Shah had done on Sunday, Rajnath said “the nation will not forgive their (Opposition’s) silence” on Udhayanidhi’s remark.

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“The DMK has attacked Sanatana Dharma and the Congress is silent about it. I want to ask (Rajasthan chief minister) Ashok Gehlot why he doesn’t speak, why Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge do not say what their thinking is on Sanatan Dharma?” Rajnath said.

“The INDIA alliance should apologise; otherwise the nation won’t forgive it.”

Three high-stakes heartland states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — are due for elections later this year and the BJP appears to have sniffed political mileage in the controversy.

Udhayanidhi had at a writers’ conference on Saturday said that “Sanatana Dharma is against the idea of social justice and must be eradicated”.

He has denied the BJP’s allegation that his statement was a call for “genocide” of Hindus, clarifying that he had merely urged an eradication of the social evils that he saw Sanatana Dharma as representing.

In Delhi, the BJP fielded Pradhan who sought to drag key leaders of the INDIA bloc into the controversy, asking why they were silent on the “attack on Sanatan Dharma that is Hindu Dharma”.

“For three days, India’s identity, basic ideology and Indianness have been attacked…. Why is Rahul Gandhi silent on this? Why are (Arvind) Kejriwalji and Nitish Kumarji silent? Why is Tejashwi Yadav silent? Why are Mamata Banerjee and Sharad Pawar silent?” Pradhan said at a media address at the BJP headquarters.

The minister claimed that Udhayanidhi’s statement was part of an INDIA “plan” and alleged that leaders of other parties in the alliance too had “attacked and abused” the Hindu religion at different times.

“A competition of abusing, cursing and humiliating India’s civilisation and original faith, Sanatan Dharma that is Hindu Dharma, has begun among leaders of the INDIA alliance,” he said.

Pradhan focused his attack on the Congress, the BJP’s principal rival in all the three poll-bound heartland states.

“We want to ask whether abusing Sanatan Dharma that is Hindu Dharma is the policy of the Congress party,” he said.

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