NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi‘s attack on Prime Minister over his “understanding of Hinduism” has invited counter-attacks from several BJP leaders who have called him “attention seeker”, “confused Gandhi” and “Hindu by political consideration”.
The latest dart came from union minister Smriti Irani who alleged that, “Rahul Gandhi, who used to say Hindus were terrorists, is now defining Hindutva.”
Ms Irani, who was recently asked about her gotra on Twitter amid a raging debate around Rahul Gandhi’s Hindu identity, revisited the issue and said, “Woh Rahul Gandhi jo Madhya Pradesh mein yeh nahi jante the ki unka gotra kya hai aaj Narendra Modi ko samjhayenge ki Hindu dharm kya hai? Woh aaj certificate denge ki Hindu kaun hai? (Rahul Gandhi, who didn’t know his gotra in Madhya Pradesh, will now tell Narendra Modi about Hinduism? Will he gives certificates to Hindus?).”
“Gotra” refers to a clan or descendants from a common ancestor.
The Congress president had said that PM Modi does not understand the foundation of Hinduism. “What is the essence of Hinduism? What does the Gita say? That knowledge is with everybody… Knowledge is all around you. Every living being has knowledge. Our prime minister says he is a Hindu, but he doesn’t understand (the) foundation of Hinduism. What kind of a Hindu is he?” Mr Gandhi said during an event in Udaipur.
The Congress is now preaching us about Hinduism… They are giving us lessons of Gita; BJP national president Amit Shah had hit back.
He must have made that statement to draw attention, Ms Irani mocked. “Because few people turned up for his event, so he had to say something to grab media’s attention,” she said in Udaipur.
Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj also roasted Rahul Gandhi and his party for their “confusion over his religion”.
“For years, Congress president Rahul Gandhi presented himself as a secular leader. However, as elections approached, his party men realised that Hindus form a majority in India and hence created his Hindu image. Sometimes, Gandhi is seen as a Shiv bhakt and at other times he is a loyal Hindu and then he presents himself as a janeudhari brahmin,” Ms Swaraj said.
A confused personality like Rahul Gandhi now says that Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t understand the meaning of being Hindu, she said.
The foreign minister quipped she will pray that the day never comes when they have to learn from Rahul Gandhi what it means to be a Hindu.
“The problem of Rahul Gandhi is that he is a confused Gandhi. He is not a Hindu by commitment. He is a Hindu by political consideration,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.