The coordination committee of the Opposition-led INDIA bloc met for the first time and discussed matters related to seat-sharing in the upcoming Lok Sabha election, public meeting along with television news shows in which members of the coalition will not send their representatives. The meeting was attended by most members of the committee except for TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee as he was summoned by Enforcement Directorate in connection with a probe into alleged teaching jobs recruitment scam.
However, the meeting faced flak from the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday which termed it as a get-together of the ‘anti-Hindu coordination committee’. It further laid out the corruption case against leaders the INDIA bloc made up of over two dozen Opposition parties.- The highlight of the saffron party’s attack at the Opposition bloc was the remarks made about the Sanatana Dharma – an endonym frequently used to represent Hinduism.
Union minister Anurag Thakur took a dig at senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi for not speaking on ‘insults’ to the Sanatana Dharma, whereas, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that the INDIA bloc’s agenda is to ‘finish off Hinduism’.
“All of them are people facing corruption and scam charges. Someone is on bail and someone has been to jail. People know them all. Changing the name won’t help. No one has insulted Baba Saheb Ambedkar more than the Congress party,” the Union minister told reporters.
Tamil Nadu minister and DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin earlier equated Sanatana Dharma with ‘dengue, malaria, fever and corona’ and added that it shouldn’t merely be opposed but eradicated.
Noting that DMK leaders likened Sanatan Dharma to various diseases, Patra asked if worshipping Lord Shiva or Hanuman can be termed AIDS, dengue or cancer.
The BJP spokesperson dismissed reports of several non-DMK Opposition parties dissociating themselves from the Dravidian party and said they continue to work together.
Responding to BJP’s attack, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said no one in this country is anti-Hindu.
“No one in this country is anti-Hindu…Every religion in this country is respected,” he told reporters.