The Congress on Monday lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate in Madhya Pradesh’s Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha constituency, Guman Singh Damor, and labelled the party the “Bharatiya Jinnah Party”.
Damor had claimed last week that Partition could have been avoided had Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah been made the prime minister. “Had Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru not insisted to be the first prime minister at the time of Independence, then this country would not have been divided into two parts,” Damor had said.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Singh Khera said at a press conference that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone to Ratlam to campaign for Damor, who, he said, has exposed the ideology of the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “Either they are so blinded by their hatred of Nehru that they begin to love Jinnah, or they are so blinded by their love for Jinnah that they begin to hate Nehru,” Khera added. “Even historians have not been able to solve this puzzle.”
The Congress leader said that the Congress won eight out of 11 Provincial Assemblies in the 1936 elections. “However, in 1942, before the Quit India movement, the Congress resigned from the assemblies,” he added. “At this time, the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League formed a ‘mahamilavat [adulterated]’ alliance. They had ministries in the Sindh Assembly, North West Frontier Province Assembly and the Bengal Assembly.”
He said Hindu Mahasabha leader Syama Prasad Mookerjee became the finance minister in the Bengal Assembly government, and named other right-wing leaders who became ministers.
Khera claimed that in 1943 Sindh became the first Assembly to pass the resolution for Pakistan. The Congress leader said that in 1937 freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar spoke about the two-nation theory during a session of the Hindu Mahasabha. “The Muslim League passed this resolution three years later, in 1940,” he added.
Khera alleged that the RSS hated those who fought against the British. “Babasaheb Ambedkar says in his book, Pakistan or the Partition of India, that Savarkar, Mookerjee and Jinnah agreed about Pakistan,” he said. “He was astonished at this.” Khera claimed that the RSS still believes in the two-nation theory.
The Congress leader said his party has now started understanding why Modi wanted former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend his oath-taking ceremony in 2014, and why current Prime Minister Imran Khan wants Modi to win the Lok Sabha elections. “Is this the Bharatiya Jinnah Party?” he asked. “This is the Bharatiya Janata Party.”
Khera wondered if the BJP will cancel Damor’s candidature and name a new contestant. “Modi hai toh mumkin hai [With Modi, it is still possible],” he added.
The Congress leader wondered whether BJP chief Amit Shah or any other senior party leader would comment on the matter. Khera also expressed confidence that the Congress would win the Lok Sabha elections. “Those who can see defeat, are fighting a different election,” he added. “They make up mythical tales in their minds and run a campaign based on history.”
The prime minister has targeted former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in his speeches in the past few weeks. Last week, he claimed that while Congress leaders thought of Gandhi as “Mr Clean”, he died as “corrupt number one”. A suicide bomber assassinated Gandhi during an election rally in Sriperumbudur town of Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.
Modi also alleged in another rally that Gandhi used the warship INS Viraat to go on a vacation with his family.
The Congress demanded an apology from Damor, Amit Shah, Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and “everybody else who thinks they are great orators”.