New Delhi, July 12: After distancing itself from Shashi Tharoor's remarks that a Hindu Pakistan would be created if the BJP returns to power, the Congress on Thursday reportedly asked its leaders to choose their words carefully while targetting the saffron party. While Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the 'Hindu Pakistan' remark by Shashi Tharoor was made in his personal capacity, its leader Jaiveer Shergill asked party workers not to be provoked by the BJP’s “polarising” and “divisive” statements.
"Today, India is far ahead of Pakistan and in this Congress has a very valuable contribution. Congress workers shouldn't be provoked by BJP's polarising, hate and dividing statements. That is the basic difference between them and us," Shergill said. Reacting to the remarks, the BJP asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to explain Tharoor's statements and apologise.
"By saying Hindu Pakistan, you have attacked the democracy of India and the Congress has attacked the Hindus of the country. This is condemnable. This has been the nature of the Congress that while hating Modi, they have crossed all the lines and they start attacking the country," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
Despite all the hullabaloo over his remarks, Shashi Tharoor refused to retract, saying the BJP-RSS idea of a Hindu Rashtra remained the mirror image of the neighbouring "intolerant theocratic state".
"I have said this before, and I will say it again. Pakistan was created as a state with a dominant religion that discriminates against its minorities and denies them equal rights. India never accepted the logic that had partitioned the country. But the BJP-RSS idea of a Hindu Rashtra is the mirror image of Pakistan -- a state with a dominant majority religion that seeks to put its minorities in a subordinate place.
"That would be a Hindu Pakistan, and it is not what our freedom movement fought for, nor the idea of India enshrined in our Constitution," Tharoor wrote on Facebook.
Speaking on "Threats faced by Indian Democracy and Secularism" at an event in Thiruvananthapuram, he said: "The great danger is that if they are able to win a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha, then frankly our democratic constitution as we understand will not survive because they will have all the three elements they need to tear up the Constitution of India and write a new one.
"That will be a new one which will enshrine the principle of Hindu Rashtra, will remove equality for minorities, that will create a Hindu Pakistan."