Bengaluru, Dec 22: The Congress is "not playing" divisive politics based on caste and religion, but politics of development in the run-up to next year's assembly polls, KPCC president G Parameshwara said on Friday.
"We are not playing the politics of divisiveness based on caste and religion, but politics of development. This is our motto going into the assembly election (early) next year," he told PTI in Bengaluru.
Parameshwara was replying to a query on dangers of playing divisive politics in relation to the Gujarat assembly polls in which the Congress lost to BJP. He said the Congress is a "mute spectator" on the controversial issue of a separate religious status for Lingayats, the majority community in the state.
"It is wrong to say chief minister Siddaramaiah and Congress initiated this issue", he said.
"All that what chief minister is saying is that, in case Lingayats submit a proposal in this regard, he would forward the same to the union government for consideration," he said.
As far as 'Tipu Jayanti' is concerned, Parameshwara said it has been celebrated not to woo Muslims but to instill confidence in the minority community.
"We celebrated Tipu Jayanti, not to woo Muslims. A majority of the minorities including Muslims are always with Congress. We wanted to instill confidence in them," he said.
The recent celebrations to mark the birth anniversary of the 18th century Mysore ruler had triggered a controversy after the BJP objected to it, saying he was a "religious bigot" who had massacred Hindus. The event had led to a sharp division in public opinion also. Replying to another query, Parameshwara said the decision to undertake separate election tours under him and chief minister Siddaramaiah had nothing to do with their differences, but a political strategy "to attack opposition with two stones."
"It is simply the way people look at. Well, people can also say that there are differences between Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, as they also take out separate tours," he said.
"No, there are no differences between me and Siddaramaiah. Instead, it is a strategy to take out two separate tours. The aim is to attack opposition with two stones," the KPCC chief added. Some Congress leaders including C K Jaffer Sharief had termed separate election tours of Siddaramaiah and Parameshwara as unnecessary and detrimental to the party's prospects. Parameshwara began his tour yesterday and would be visiting non-Congress constituencies. Siddaramaiah is already on a statewide tour launching various developmental schemes.