BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra on Tuesday said that Congress President Rahul Gandhi had accepted through his latest tweet that Congress was a party of Muslims. Speaking to media soon after Rahul’s tweet, Patra said, “We were expecting him to issue a denial to the Urdu newspaper that quoted him as saying that Congress was a Muslim party. But he’s chosen not to issue a denial. It’s, therefore, clear that Rahul Gandhi has accepted in his tweet that the Congress was a party of Muslims.”
The Congress president, in his tweet, posted earlier on Tuesday, had said, “I stand with the last person in the line. The exploited, marginalised and the persecuted. Their religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me. I seek out those in pain and embrace them. I erase hatred and fear. I love all living beings. I am the Congress.”
I stand with the last person in the line. The exploited, marginalised and the persecuted. Their religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me.
I seek out those in pain and embrace them. I erase hatred and fear.
I love all living beings.
I am the Congress.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 17, 2018
An Urdu newspaper, Inquilab, owned by pro-BJP Jagran media group, had last week carried a lead story with a headline attributed to Rahul saying that Congress was a party of Muslims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had taken a dig in one of his rallies in Uttar Pradesh. Modi raking up the issue was widely viewed as his desperate bid to communalise the next parliamentary elections.
Rahul had invited a group of intellectuals with Muslim names in order to understand the issues faced by the minority community. Noted among them were former planning commission member Syeda Hameed, JNU professor Zoya Hasan, former president of Aligarh Muslim University ZK Faizan, educationist Ilyas Malik, Zafar Mehmood and retired bureaucrat AF Faruqui.
The meeting was reportedly organised by Nadeem Javed, the newly appointed head of the party’s minority wing. This was primarily to address the concerns among Muslims that the Congress under Rahul had decided to adopt soft Hindutva policy.