Rahul Gandhi n the US

Congress slams BJP for criticism of Rahul's remark on IUML

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The Congress on Friday hit back at the BJP over its criticism of Rahul Gandhi for calling the Indian Union Muslim League “completely secular”, saying the party he referred to was different from the Muslim League, for which the BJP has “more love” and whose leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah was hailed by L K Advani.

The Opposition party also said that it would like to remind the BJP that Hindu Mahasabha president Syama Prasad Mookerjee aligned with Jinnahs Muslim League to form the government in Bengal during the British rule.

At an interaction with the media at the National Press Club in Washington, Gandhi was asked about being in alliance with the IUML in Kerala while talking about secularism, to which he responded by saying, “Muslim League is a completely secular party. There is nothing non-secular about the Muslim League.” Gandhis remark drew a sharp response from the BJP as its leaders alleged that the Kerala party is guided by the same mindset which was behind Jinnahs All India Muslim League.

In a tweet, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “Shyama Prasad Mookerjee was in league with the Muslim League in the government in Bengal when (Mahatma) Gandhiji launched Quit India movement. SPM was singularly responsible for the partition of Bengal.” He also tagged a tweet by Congress leader Amitabh Dubey who had slammed BJP IT department head Amit Malviya for his criticism of Gandhi, saying “Youre confusing the Kerala-based IUML he is talking about with Jinnahs Muslim League that took Savarkars two-nation theory to its logical conclusion.” “The same Muslim League with whom BJP founder SP Mukherjee and Hindu Mahasabha formed coalition governments in Bengal, Sind, NWFP (North-West Frontier Province),” Dubey said.

Congress media department head Pawan Khera hit out at the BJP over its criticism and said the BJP-RSS have more knowledge of Pakistans politics and Jinnahs Muslim League as they share a historical jugalbandi.

“Those with entire political science (degree) should have some knowledge of the politics of their country,” Khera said.

He said Muhammad Ismail, the founder of the Indian Union Muslim League, was a member of the Constituent Assembly and during the war with China, he had offered his son, Miyan Khan, to join the Indian Army.

He said the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had sent IUML leader E Ahamed to Geneva to represent India. “IUML established the largest Sanskrit University in Kerala. The BJP also made an alliance with IUML for Nagpur Municipal Corporation. The omniscient Vishwaguru of WhatsApp nursery, please enrich your knowledge,” Khera said in a tweet in Hindi.

Asked about the BJPs criticism of Gandhis remark, Gourav Vallabh said at a press conference at the AICC headquarters here that the party Gandhi referred to is IUML which is a registered political party in India.

“Is a registered party in India not a secular party? Does the Election Commission get ineligible parties registered? I would like to remind the BJP that this is not the party with which Syama Prasad Mookerjee aligned to form the government in Bengal,” Vallabh said.

“That Muslim League of Jinnah is different, with which you formed the government. Rahul Gandhi has not talked about that Muslim League but the thing is that you have more love for that party, therefore, you think that the party being talked about is the one whose founder was Jinnah,” he said, slamming the BJP.

Asserting that Gandhi had talked about the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) of Kerala, Vallabh said he would like to tell the BJP people that the former Congress chief was not talking about the Muslim League of Jinnah on whose mausoleum in Pakistan, BJP co-founder L K Advani had hailed him and called him “secular”.

“In the BJPs mind only that party is there. It is an old friendship as they formed the government in Bengal. Many prime ministers of India, many diplomats, writers, sportspersons, politicians have gone to Pakistan but who went to Jinnahs mausoleum,” he said.

In 2005, Advani had visited Pakistan and praised the neighbouring countrys founder Jinnah, triggering criticism from within his own party.

Hitting out at the BJP leaders for their criticism, Vallabh said, “So all those who today are talking about IUML should go and ask Advani ji. We have talked about IUML. The Muslim League that is close to your heart is Jinnahs Muslim League because you formed a coalition government with it in Bengal,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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