Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday dubbed the upcoming Lok Sabha polls as a "civilizational fight" in which the people of the country will vote for "protecting the Sanatan Dharma".
The BJP leader, who spoke to journalists at the Patna airport, also charged the anti-BJP coalition INDIA of having been "formed with the sole intent to destroy our civilization and culture".
Sarma is in Bihar to take part in an Indian Council of Cultural Relations function "Vaishali Festival of Democracy", held in Nalanda district, where the attendees included former President Ram Nath Kovind and Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi.
The Assam Chief Minister, who has had a meteoric rise in the BJP since he joined the party in 2014, quitting the Congress, was responding to queries about the "Sanatan Dharma" row which has been triggered by some controversial remarks of DMK leaders in Tamil Nadu, to which strong exception was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.
"The remarks against Sanatan Dharma show that the alliance has been formed with the sole intent to destroy our civilization and culture. Hence, I see the Lok Sabha polls as a civilizational fight in which the people of the country will take part to protect Sanatan Dharma", said Sarma, who received a rousing welcome from BJP supporters.
Queries on the row were also posed to Lekhi, the Minister of State for External Affairs when she reached the airport.
She said "Sanatan Dharma stands for democracy and freedom since its adherents are at liberty to approach the divine in whichever way they feel like. But this is something the opposition alliance cannot appreciate since it believes in dynasty rule and, hence, is undemocratic".
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