INDIA Bloc Divided Over Udhayanidhi Stalin's Sanatana Dharma Remark

Update: 2023-09-04 20:05 GMT
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, party leader Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal CM and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar during the INDIA alliance meeting, at a hotel in Mumbai, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023. (PTI)

New Delhi: Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remark on “Sanatana dharma” has divided the Opposition I.N.D.I.A bloc, with the Congress, TMC, Shiv Sena (UBT) and AAP distanced themselves.

With Assembly elections approaching in the Hindi heartland states, and the BJP painting the comments as an attack on the Hindu religion, the Congress is steering clear of backing the DMK. The Janata Dal (U), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena were uncomfortable too.

The Trinamul Congress (TMC) on Monday condemned Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remark, and said the Opposition bloc had no connection with such comments.

“We condemn such remarks. Harmony is our culture. We have to respect other religions. The I.N.D.I.A. bloc has no connection with such comments. Whoever he may be, if anyone says something like this, we should condemn such statements,” TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.

The JDU and RJD have advised the TN minister to issue an apology on his “controversial and unfortunate” remark.

Although Tamil Nadu Congress leader MP Karti Chidambaram had seemingly supported the Stalin scion, the Congress stayed away from the issue. Former MP Chief minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath said he did not agree with Udhayanidhi Stalin. Chhattisgarh deputy chief minister T.S. Singhdeo of the Congress said, “Sanatana dharma is an established way of life and a religious expression. It should be respected completely."

Priyanka Chaturvedi, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader, said, “Anyone making derogatory comments against it is ignorant of what it stands for."

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh said, “We don’t need to learn what Hindu religion is from Amit Shah and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)." Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Mritunjay Tiwari said, “The BJP does politics in the name of Sanatan and the person who gave such a statement should apologise to all Sanatanis."


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