Dungarpur (Rajasthan): Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday lashed out at opposition INDIA coalition parties over DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin's remarks against 'Sanatan Dharma', accusing them of insulting 'Sanatan Dharma' for votebank and appeasement politics.
Alleging that 'Sanatan Dharma' is against equality and social justice, Tamil Nadu Youth Welfare Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin had said it should be eradicated.
Shah said DMK leaders, including the Tamil Nadu chief minister's son, are saying that 'Sanatan Dharma' should be abolished. He also accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of calling Hindu organisations more dangerous than the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
"These people have talked about 'Sanatan Dharma' for votebank appeasement. They have insulted ('Sanatan Dharma')," BJP leader Shah said at a public rally at Beneshwar Dham in Dungarpur district on the launch of the party's Parivartan Yatra in poll-bound Rajasthan.
Beneshwar Dham, a pilgrimage site for people from tribal communities, is located at the confluence of the Som, Mahi and Jakham rivers on the Banswara-Dungarpur border.
Shah alleged that it was not the first time that votebank appeasement was in play.
"Manmohan Singh had said that minorities have the first right on the budget. We say that Dalits, tribals and backward (classes) have the first right," he said.
Shah also alleged that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had said "Hindu organisations are more dangerous than the Lashkar-e-Taiba".
"You compare Hindu organisations with Lashkar-e-Taiba. Your minister used to say that Hindu terror is going on. This INDIA alliance can go to any extent for votebank and appeasement politics," the senior BJP leader claimed.
On Saturday, Udhayanidhi referred to 'Sanatan Dharma' as 'Sanatanam' during his address in Tamil at a Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association meeting in Chennai.
"What is Sanatanam? The very name is only from Sanskrit. Sanatan is against equality and social justice and nothing else. What is the meaning of Sanatan? It is eternal, that is, it cannot be changed; no one could pose any question and that is the meaning."
Shah also dubbed the INDIA bloc as "ghamandiya gathbandhan". He said the alliance can go to any extent for votebank politics but "the more they talk against 'Sanatan Dharma', the less they will be visible".
"They say that if Modi wins, 'Sanatan' rule will come. 'Sanatan' is ruling the hearts of the people. Modi has said the country will run on the basis of the Constitution," Shah said, adding that the prime minister has worked to secure the nation.
On the Ram temple issue, he alleged that the Congress blocked the temple for years but after the Supreme Court order, "Modi did 'bhumi pujan' and a grand temple is going to be ready in January on the same land where Ram was born".
"The INDIA alliance cannot stop it," he said.
Shah also said the UPA is accused of corruption.
"Along with this, there is arrogance in the mind, pride that only the Gandhi family can rule the country. And Modi is the poor son of a poor mother and a tea-seller (father). These people are unable to tolerate it," he claimed.
Shah also targeted the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan.
"Ashok Gehlot's government is a government steeped in corruption, a failed government in women's safety," Shah said.
He claimed that about 19 cases of crimes against women are registered in the state every day.
"Ashok Gehlot can neither stop the violence nor the riots," he said.
Shah also asked Gehlot to hold a press conference and tell the people about the work his government has done in the last five years.
"Gehlot ji, if you have the courage, hold a public press conference and tell the people of Rajasthan what other work you have done in five years apart from scams, scams, corruption and appeasement. The UPA government was at the Centre for 10 years, what did the UPA government give to the people of Rajasthan? Just give an account of this," Shah said.
He also alleged that Gehlot is afraid of the "red diary".
"The 'red diary' has an account of corruption of hundreds of crores. There is a mention of the mining scam, teachers' transfer scam, Kalisindh dam scam," he said.
Sacked Rajasthan minister Rajendra Gudha had claimed that the "red diary", which he secured from the residence of Congress leader Dharmendra Rathore during an Income Tax raid in July 2020 on the directions of the chief minister, had details of Gehlot's financial transactions.
Shah claimed the UPA government allocated Rs 1.60 lakh crore to Rajasthan during its 10 years while the Modi-led dispensation allotted Rs 8.71 lakh crore in just nine years.
Speaking on the BJP's Parivartan Yatra, Shah said the march will cover 2,500 kilometres in 19 days and contact 52 constituencies. By holding small gatherings at 156 places, gatherings at 52 places and large gatherings at 56 places, it will take a pledge of change in Rajasthan.
Addressing the rally, former chief minister Vasundhara Raje alleged that the Congress government is snatching land, forest and water.
"They did no good for you. The government is snatching land, forest and water. Neither electricity is provided nor water. When no electricity is being provided, then what is the point of announcing it to give it for free? Women are not being respected," Raje said.
She also said that had people like Rajasthan Public Service Commission member Babulal Katara been caught earlier, paper leaks would not have happened.
C P Joshi, the BJP's state unit president, also accused the Congress government of appeasement politics, saying that if the Centre had not sent a National Investigation Agency team to Udaipur, the killers of Kanhaiya Lal would not have been caught.
Lal, a tailor, was killed by two men for allegedly disrespecting Islam.
Union ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat were also present at the rally.