Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that BJP has always been a pro-Hindutva party, asserting that those parading their newfound Hindu piety were nothing but “clones”.
“BJP has always been seen as a pro-Hindutva party and if someone wants to mimic us, I do not have any complaint. But there is a basic principle in politics, if an original is available why would anyone prefer a clone?,” Jaitley told media in Surat.
The Finance Minister’s barbed remarks were a jibe at the controversy surrounding Congress vice president Rahul Gandh’s religion following his recent visit to Somnath Temple.
His remarks were also in response to Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s charge that Prime Minister Narendra Modi can no longer be called a Hindu as he had completely embraced fundamentalist ideology.
Rahul visit to Somnath Temple sparked a massive furore, after it was reported that his name was allegedly listed as a ‘non-Hindu’ visitor at the temple. The BJP fulminated against Rahul and asked him to come clean on his religious leanings, while the Congress, in damage control mode, proclaimed Rahul a devout 'janeu dhaari Hindu'.
The saffron party has been repeatedly ridiculing Rahul’s string of temple visits in Gujarat which come at a time when the state is heading towards the Assembly elections.
The BJP has even targeted Rahul Gandhi, alleging that he doesn’t have the etiquettes to offer prayers in temples.
On BJP claiming a thumping victory in the Uttar Pradesh civic polls and the Congress’ dismal show, Jaitley said that the grand old party is on the verge of extinction and will meet a bitter defeat in Gujarat.
“While BJP has maintained its credibility, Congress is slowly becoming extinct. The results haven't been out yet and they have already started making excuses for their defeat,” he said when asked about allegations of EVM tampering.
Coming down heavily on the erstwhile UPA regime headed by Manmohan Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley called it the "most corrupt" and "leaderless" government in Indian history.
"The 10 years of governance before Modi Ji's govt was the most corrupt government we have ever seen. It was a leaderless government. It was said that the then PM is a PM in office but not in power," he said.