Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha on Tuesday condemned Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remarks on the Sanatan Dharma, saying one should stay away from making such remarks on any religion. In an interview with news agency PTI, Chadha tried to blunt the attack from the BJP on the INDIA bloc by calling Udhayanidhi, son of Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, a “small leader” and asserted that his statement is not the official stand of the alliance.
“I am from Sanatan Dharma. I condemn and oppose such statements. Such kind of statements should not be made. One should stay away from making such remarks on any religion. We should respect all religions,” Chadha told PTI.
Udhayanidhi Stalin recently blamed the Sanatan Dharma for promoting division and discrimination among people and called for its eradication. The BJP seized on his remarks to target the INDIA bloc, and, on Tuesday accused the alliance of having a hidden agenda to target the Sanatan Dharma for vote bank politics.
“Some leader from some party makes such remarks… it doesn’t mean it is the statement of the alliance. The alliance has been formed for raising big issues like price rise, unemployment facing the country. The statement made by some small leader, while standing in a district in a state, is not the official stand of the alliance,” Chadha asserted.
Over two dozen Opposition parties have joined hands to form the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) to take on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance unitedly in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Chadha is a member of the 14-member coordination committee, which is the top decision-making body of the INDIA bloc.
Ahead of a meeting of the committee at the Delhi residence of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Chadha said that AAP was not in the race for the office of the prime minister.
“We are a loyal soldier in this alliance. We are not in the race to become PM. We have many able administrators in our alliance. We have many competent people. But can someone in NDA stand up and say they want Nitin Gadkari become PM or Amit Shah to become the prime minister? I just want to prove here that we have many able administrators. They don’t have anyone. They can only take the name of one leader,” he said.
Insisted further, he said, “The alliance will take a decision (on a prime ministerial name). Even the alliance formed in 1977 did not have a declared PM face yet they won the elections against Indira Gandhi. I see a repeat of that happening.”
(With PTI inputs)