Gujarat Elections 2022: ‘Mahadev and Allah are the same’, says Congress’ Rajkot candidate; sparks row | The Financial Express

Gujarat Elections 2022: ‘Mahadev and Allah are the same’, says Congress’ Rajkot candidate; sparks row

Addressing a gathering on Saturday, former Congress MLA Rajguru first said that the crowd must chant “Har Har Mahadev”, and the crowd followed suit. He then went on to say that “Mahadev and Allah are the same”.

Gujarat Elections 2022: ‘Mahadev and Allah are the same’, says Congress’ Rajkot candidate; sparks row
Rajguru's remarks on Sunday soon went viral on social media. (Photo: Facebook/IndranilRajguruOfficial/File)

As the campaign for the first phase of polling in the Gujarat elections on December 1 enters its final leg in poll-bound Gujarat, Congress candidate from Rajkot (East) Indranil Rajguru courted controversy with his comments on religious places Ajmer and Somnath.

Addressing a gathering on Saturday, former Congress MLA Rajguru first said that the crowd must chant “Har Har Mahadev”, and the crowd followed suit. He then went on to say that “Mahadev and Allah are the same”.

“In my view, Mahadev and Allah are the same. Mahadev resides in Ajmer, and Allah resides in Somnath. Allahu Akbar (God is great),” Rajguru, who returned to the Congress after a short stint with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), said, according to PTI.

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“In my view Mahadev and Allah are the same. I feel joy in taking my Hindu brothers to Lord Mahadev (Somnath) on a bus. But I feel the same joy when I go to Ajmer with trains full of people…Those who seek to reform us should know we are all human beings. Allahu Akbar. Har Har Madev,” he added, as quoted by PTI.

While Ajmer is famous for the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Somnath is a famous religious pilgrimage for Hindus and is popular for the temple of Lord Shiva.

Rajguru’s remarks on Sunday soon went viral on social media.

Reacting to his remarks, Uday Kangad, BJP candidate from Rajkot (East), said, “There is a great difference. Such a statement is objectionable for the Hindu community…Somnath is revered across the country, is the first jyotirlinga. One should not say something like this.”

Chaitanya Shambhu Maharaj, a religious leader from Ahmedabad, said that the remarks were an attempt to woo “Hindu and Muslim voters”.

“This is an example of how low a person can stoop for votes. By such a statement he has insulted not just the Hindus but also Muslims…This is just an attempt to woo Hindu and Muslim voters,” the religious leader said, as quoted by PTI.

After the video was circulated on social media, Rajguru said, “A clip of mine saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ has surfaced. In the same clip, people should also listen to 5,000 Muslims chanting ‘Har Har Mahadev’.”

“I asked them (the public) that if I do not feel ashamed in taking Allah’s name, then should you feel ashamed of taking the name of Mahadev? When I said ‘Allahu Akbar’, then 5,000 people chanted ‘Har Har Mahadev’. This is the reality of the video,” the Congress leader said.

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Rajguru further said that the saffron party had circulated only part of the video in which he is seen saying ‘Allahu Akbar’.

Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases, on December 1 and 5, and results will be announced along with the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections on December 8.

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First published on: 28-11-2022 at 11:17 IST