While releasing the Congress party's manifesto for the upcoming state elections, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said he was a real Hindu while those in the Bharatiya Janata Party were mere "self-proclaimed contractors" out to protect Hinduism. "I am real Hindu. They [BJP] are all fake Hindus who are self-proclaimed contractors of saving Hinduism,” he said, according to The Indian Express.
Gogoi said the saffron party and its parent organisation the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh were trying to impose their brand of Hinduism in his state. "Hinduism has thousands of gods and goddesses. Our real Hinduism does not teach us to hate other faiths. The Assamese brand of Hinduism has taught us to be secular and tolerant. Assamese Hindus do not despise people of other faiths,” the veteran Congress leader said. He added that the religion did not ask for people to demolish the Babri Masjid either, and that it was orchestrated by the BJP to garner votes. Gogoi's remarks come ahead of assembly elections in the state that will be held on April 4 and 11.