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The Hindu
The Hindu
Shubhomoy Sikdar

In Madhya Pradesh outreach, Union Minister Anurag Thakur, Goa CM Pramod Sawant slam INDIA bloc over Sanatana Dharma row

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh continues to up the ante over Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remarks on Sanatana Dharma. On Monday, Union Minister Anurag Thakur challenged senior Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to break their silence on the issue, while Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant alleged that the INDIA alliance wanted to “eradicate Sanatana Dharma”.  

Mr. Thakur and Mr. Sawant were in the State to join two separate ‘Jan Aashirwad Yatras’ — a pan-State outreach exercise — in the Mahakoshal and Malwa Malwa Nimar regions, respectively. 

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly told his Ministerial colleagues that Mr. Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remarks would have to be met with a “proper response” based on the “facts of the issue” within the contemporary situation, and emphasised that the Constitution did not allow for abuse of any religion, party leaders have maintained an aggressive stance over the controversy.  

Continuing the same stance in Seoni on Monday, the Union Minister even said that Mr. Udhayanidhi Stalin’s comments were like “blowing up Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution”. “By drawing comparisons with dengue, malaria and AIDS, the law and the Constitution are being blown up and Mr. Rahul Gandhi is giving lectures sitting in a foreign land. He should answer why Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution is being blown up by Congress and the INDIA alliance leaders,” Mr. Thakur said. 

Meanwhile, in Khargone, Mr. Sawant said the INDIA alliance wanted to destroy Sanatana Dharma, something which even the Mughals, British and the Portuguese could not do in India or Goa. 

While the State leadership of the Congress has distanced itself from Mr. Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remarks, the ruling party’s own unit here, too, realises that, although limited, the issue will have some electoral impact.

“We are counting on our various schemes and Mr. Modi’s work as the mainstay of the campaign but this issue has come out of nowhere and we will continue to corner the INDIA alliance to whichever extent possible,” a source said.  

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