‘82% are Hindus’: Kamal Nath defends Shastri after row over Hindu Rashtra remark
Kamal Nath’s statement came a day after RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari said the Madhya Pradesh Congress chief was behaving against the ideology of the INDIA alliance
Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath on Tuesday hit back at the criticism against him for inviting self-claimed spiritual leader Pandit Dhirendra Shastri to his home turf Chhindwara for a three-day religious function, where the latter purportedly demanded to make India a Hindu Rashtra, saying that there was no need to say India is a Hindu nation as 82% Indians are Hindus.
“Dhirendra Shastri did not talk about Hindu nation. He talked about all religions. The function’s last day was dedicated for all religions,” Nath said in Bhopal when asked by reporters about Shastri’s purported comment. What is the point of creating a Hindu nation. 82% (Indians) are Hindus anyway. Where 82% are Hindus, what is the need to say this, the figures are saying it,” he added.
Nath’s statement came a day after Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Shivanand Tiwari said the former MP chief minister was behaving against the ideology of INDIA, an alliance of two dozen opposition parties including RJD. Talking to media, Tiwari said that Kamal Nath should be called by the national party leadership to explain the issue.
“The grand alliance has been formed according to an ideology. But if it it felicitates, welcomes, and glorifies those who talked about making the Hindu nation, and then say that that the country will be run by the Constitution, then this contradiction will not be digested by anyone,” said Tiwari.
He requested the Congress high command to clarify this matter and summon Kamal Nath.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and home minister Narottam Mishra also targeted Nath over the function.
Chouhan called Kamal Nath a seasoned devotee. “Elections are coming, and they (Congress leaders) are showing electoral devotion. They are compelled to do so. Those who refused to take the name of Lord Ram and called him imagination, are now reciting stories and Hanuman Chalisa,” the CM said.
Mishra said, “The Congress high command should give an explanation on this.”
Kamal Nath said, “I had built the Hanuman temple in Chhindwara 15 years ago but didn’t publicise. Pandit Dhirendra Shastri was invited by the people of Chhindwara. Pandit Pradeep Mishra has given the date in September. He will also be welcomed”
- Kamal Nath