Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday claimed India would transform into a “Hindu Pakistan” if the Bharatiya Janata Party won the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, Manorama Online reported. Tharoor was speaking at a lecture on the “Threats Faced by Indian Democracy and Secularism” in Thiruvananthapuram.

“If the BJP wins the 2019 Lok Sabha election, our democratic Constitution, as we understand it, will not survive as they will have all the elements they need to tear apart the Constitution of India and write a new one,” the Thiruvananthapuram MP said. “That new one will be the one which will enshrine principles of Hindu Rashtra, that will remove equality for minorities, that will create a Hindu Pakistan and that is not what Mahatama Gandhi, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad and great heroes of freedom struggle fought for.”

Tharoor said the lack of a two-thirds majority in the Rajya Sabha had hindered the saffron party from achieving its target. “The only thing they don’t have is a majority in the Rajya Sabha but because they have so many state governments and because state assemblies elect the Rajya Sabha, you can be sure in four to five years, they will have a majority in Rajya Sabha as well,” Tharoor said, according to The Indian Express.

Later, he wrote on Facebook that the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s idea of a Hindu Rashtra is a “mirror image of Pakistan – a state with a dominant majority religion that seeks to put its minorities in a subordinate place”.

“Many proud Hindus like myself cherish the inclusive nature of our faith and have no desire to live, as our Pakistani neighbours are forced to, in an intolerant theocratic state,” Tharoor wrote. “We want to preserve India and not turn our beloved country into a Hindu version of Pakistan.”

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra condemned Tharoor for his comment and demanded that Congress President Rahul Gandhi apologise on his behalf, ANI reported. “The shameless Congress does not lose any opportunity to demean India and defame Hindus,” Patra said on Twitter. “From ‘Hindu terrorists’ to ‘Hindu Pakistan’, the Pakistan-appeasing policies of the Congress are unparalleled.”

Patra accused Congress leaders of using “petty politics to let India down”.