Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took potshots at the Bharatiya Janata Party and said that the ruling party will create a create a 'Hindu Pakistan' if it wins the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
He was talking at an event on 'Threats Faced by Indian Democracy and Secularism' in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. Tharoor added that the BJP will write a new constitution for India in which the rights of minorities will not be respected, ANI reported.
"If they (BJP) win a repeat in the Lok Sabha, our democratic constitution as we understand it, will not survive as they will have all the elements they need to tear apart the constitution of India and write a new one," Tharoor was quoted as saying by ANI.
"That new one will be the one which will enshrine principles of Hindu Rashtra, that will remove equality for minorities, that'll create a Hindu Pakistan and that isn't what Mahatama Gandhi, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad and great heroes of freedom struggle fought for," he added.
BJP was quick to respond to Tharoor's comments, with its spokesperson Sambit Patra saying that Congress president Rahul Gandhi should apologise for the statement.
"Rahul Gandhi must apologise for what Shashi Tharoor said. Congress was responsible for the creation of Pakistan because of its ambitions yet again it has gone ahead to demean India and defame Hindus of India."
On Thursday, Tharoor posted a Facebook status to reaffirm his stand on 'Hindu Pakistan' comment.
"I have said this before and I will say it again. Pakistan was created as a state with a dominant religion, that discriminates against its minorities and denies them equal rights. India never accepted the logic that had partitioned the country. But the BJP/RSS idea of a Hindu Rashtra is the mirror image of Pakistan -- a state with a dominant majority religion that seeks to put its minorities in a subordinate place. That would be a Hindu Pakistan, and it is not what our freedom movement fought for, nor the idea of India enshrined in our Constitution [sic]"