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BJP's priority is not development, but to create Hindu rashtra: Shashi Tharoor in WB


Kolkata, Jan 22: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday asserted that in the absence of any development agenda, what the Bharatiya Janata Party wants is to create a "Hindu rashtra".

Speaking at the Kolkata Literary Meet here, Tharoor also claimed the real "tukde tukde gang" is the ruling party which is dividing the country into bits and pieces.

BJPs priority is not development, but to create Hindu rashtra: Shashi Tharoor in WB

"With no development on its agenda, the ruling party is making a complete exposition of its agenda to create a Hindu rashtra," Tharoor claimed.

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The present central government does not have the mentality for development, the Congress leader alleged.

"The real tukde tukde gang is the ruling party which is dividing the country into bits and pieces. The party wants to divide us further the way the British Raj did through the divide and rule policy", he said.

"Tukde tukde gang" is a term often used by the right- wing parties to attack the opposition, particularly Left and Left-backed outfits, as well as those who support them.

"Should religion be a determinant for nationhood? Mahatma Gandhi went for a secular India, unlike Pakistan which went on to become an Islamic state. "Our Constitution reflects dignity and equality for all. The Constitution reflects that and also essentially rejected the idea of religion-based citizenship," Tharoor said.

For the first time in India, religion is considered as a determinant for citizenship and excluding one religion, Islam, he said. "The onus will be on us to prove that we are Indians," the hiruvananthapuram MP claimed. BJP leaders often quote Swami Vivekananda but the monk in his famous Chicago speech had greeted people of all faiths of the world as brothers and sisters, he said.

"But BJP has reduced this to six faiths and three nations", he said.

He was referring to the amended Citizenship Act that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis entering India on or before December 31, 2014 from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after five years of residence here. Referring to the proposed nationwide NRC, Tharoor said 65 per cent of the people do not have documentation. "This is what the present government has burdened us with".

On the economic front, he alleged that the BJP has destroyed the economy and brought in demonetisation "in Tughlaqi style".

"There is high level of unemployment, record number of farmers committing suicides. There is food price inflation", he said. Even investors' confidence is shattered as seen the way the BJP sneered at Amazon's proposal of USD one billion investments in India, he said.

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