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We are not a party of Hindutva but a party of Hinduism: Rahul Gandhi

He admits that he differs from the stand taken by the Kerala unit of his party on allowing women of menstruating age to enter the Sabarimala temple.

The Congress is not a party of Hindutva, but a party of Hinduism, which teaches embracing everyone, its president Rahul Gandhi told journalists in Bhopal on Tuesday,

When asked about his recent visits to temples in the poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, he said, “Are temples private property of Mr Modi?”. When Amit Shah and Mr Modi go to a temple… then it is fine. When Kamal Nath, Scindia and I go, then it is fancy dress.” He wore traditional clothes to adhere to the customs followed by the temple, he added.

“No, I am not a Hindutva leader. I am a nationalistic like leader who represents every section, every caste, every faith, every language and every region. Hinduism and Hindutva are different things. Hinduism is open-minded, progressive, free thinking. Hinduism is completely opposed to anger, hatred and violence,” he observed.

“The foundation of the BJP’s Hindutva is based on hatred, anger, insecurity. Whereas, the Hindu religion is based on self-confidence, self-belief,respect to others, listening to others and embracing others… so we are not a Hindutva party but a party of Hinduism,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi admitted that he differed from the stand taken by the Kerala unit of his party over allowing women of menstruating age to enter the Sabarimala temple. “It’s a very emotional issue for men and women in Kerala,” he noted.

‘Modi will be in jail if there is proper probe into Rafale’

Mr. Gandhi claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would go to jail if there was a proper inquiry into the alleged wrongdoings in the purchase of Rafale fighter jets from France.

“Rafale is an open and shut case of corruption. Once the Prime Minister starts an inquiry into Rafale, then it is only a matter of time that the Prime Minister will go to jail,” he said.

Repeating his September 20 slogan made during a party rally at Sangwara in Dungarpur, Rajasthan, “chowdikar chor hai” (the watchman is the thief), Mr. Gandhi went on to say there was no allegations of corruption against the former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, during his 10-year tenure.

Mr. Gandhi admitted that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) lost the 2014 elections as it couldn’t live up to people’s expectations. But the National Democratic Alliance government had not even delivered what the UPA had achieved, he said.

To a question on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s threat to file a defamation case against him, Mr. Gandhi said he got “confused since BJP leaders are involved in many corruption cases.”

Mr. Gandhi earlier claimed that Mr. Chouhan’s son’s name figured in the Panama papers. On Tuesday, He alleged that the father-son duo were involved in corruption in Vyapam and e-tendering.