Vishwa Hindu Parishad convenor Ashok Singhal's statement that Bharatiya Janata Party's victory in Lok Sabha polls 2014 was a “setback to Muslim politics” has created a furore.
The Congress has not only condemned Singhal's statement but also hit out at the BJP.
Manish Tewari, the Congress leader, said the statement given by Singhal is “condemnable”. “True colours of a party is seen in how they protect their minority,” added Tewari. Another Congressman Rajiv Shukla said that Muslims and Hindus live together in India. “I don't think even PM Narendra Modi will agree with Ashok Singhal's statement,” added Shukla.
When asked to share his views over Singhal's interview, senior Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut said that India belonged to everyone and “everyone is equal”. “This time Muslim vote bank politics did not work,” Raut, however, added.
In an interview to a daily, the right-wing Hindu leader cited Narendra Modi's major win in the Lok Sabha polls for claiming that “tables had turned”. He added that the results had proven that a poll could be won “without Muslim support”. It was time the minority community learn to respect Hindu sentiments, said the senior RSS leader.
The 88-year-old went on to add: “Muslims will be treated as common citizens -- nothing more, nothing less. And, they must learn to respect Hindu sentiments. If they keep opposing Hindus, how long can they survive?”
He also said that Muslims should withdraw claims over Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura and also accept a uniform civil code.
“We’ll then give them love, and not claim any other mosque sites even though there are thousands built on the ruins of temples. But if they don’t accept it, they should be prepared for further Hindu consolidation. It has happened at the Centre, it will happen in other states,” the daily further quoted Singhal as saying.
Singhal also said that he sees an “ideal swayamsevak” in Modi.
“During the campaign, he conducted himself like a swayamsevak. He also showed to the world the discipline and hard work that a Sangh pracharak puts in.”