The Congress party today invited embarrassment when its senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that there has been a sharp drop in invitations extended to him from Hindu friends for campaigns.
The Congress party today invited embarrassment when its senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that there has been a sharp drop in invitations extended to him from Hindu friends for campaigns. Speaking at an event organised in the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to observe the 201st birth anniversary of its founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Azad said that this trend started after the 2014 general elections which saw the BJP outplaying the Congress by a huge margin.
“Today we are divided, society is divided, friends are divided. I will give a small example. Since the days of the Youth Congress, I have been campaigning across the country from Andaman and Nicobar to Lakshadweep. Around 95% of those who used to call me were Hindu brothers and leaders and just 5% were Muslim brothers. But in the last four years, I have observed that the figure of 95 has dropped to just 20%,” he said.
Stating that there is something wrong, he said, “Aaj darta hai aadmi bulane se, ki iska voter pe kya asar hoga (They are afraid of calling me lest it affects votes).”
The Congress leader also said that the ruling BJP is making attempts to defame the AMU and is deliberately targeting Kashmiri students.
Azad’s remark came as an embarrassment for the Congress party with Rahul Gandhi championing the cause of secularism. The Congress leader’s statement also invited sharp criticism from the ruling BJP which said that it is yet another attempt by the Congress to “demean and demoralise” Hindus.
“The Hindu community firmly believes in secularism and always believe in ‘vasudhaika kutumbam’. To say that Hindus have any kind of ill feelings towards Ghulam Nabi Azad and Salman Khurshid is belittling the Hindu community. I feel, Azadji, you want to campaign in Pakistan because you no longer are fond of Hindus in India and that is why Congress is advertising its Modi-hatao campaign in Pakistan,” party spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
Patra added that the reason why fewer people are calling Azad for campaigning is the “falling stock of the Congress party”. “For this Azad has invented the Hindu-Muslim angle,” the BJP opined.
“These are not ordinary words. It is an abuse for the country’s secular fabric and Hindus,” he further said.
Patra also rejected Azad’s charges that the BJP is targeting Kashmiri students and trying to defame the AMU. ‘If prayer meetings are held for terrorists then it will be condemned,” the BJP leader said.
The AMU is at a centre of a row after police booked three Kashmiri students under sedition law for holding prayers for slain scholar-turned-terrorist Manan Wani.