Is your nationalism inspired by Hitler & Mussolini, CM Bhupesh Baghel asks Mohan Bhagwat

Is your nationalism inspired by Hitler & Mussolini, CM Bhupesh Baghel asks Mohan Bhagwat

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, who is on weeklong 'Gandhi Vichaar Padyatra', says RSS chief's idea of nationalism is not the inclusive nationalism of Mahatma Gandhi.

File photo of Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel | @bhupeshbaghel/Twitter

File photo of Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel | @bhupeshbaghel/Twitter

Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel hit out at RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat Wednesday for the latter’s recent remarks on lynching and asked if he was “inspired by Hitler or Mussolini”.

“What I want to ask Bhagwat is whether his idea of nationalism is inspired by Hitler or Mussolini. Will you ask everyone who dares to disagree with you to leave. This is not the inclusive nationalism of Mahatma Gandhi,” said Baghel Wednesday, while speaking to a select group of journalists in Raipur.

Bhagwat had courted controversy earlier this week when he said lynchings were alien to India and a conspiracy to defame the country.

This wasn’t the first time that Baghel took the RSS head-on. The Congress leader had, last week, also remarked that some “people remember Mahatma Gandhi to show off” but don’t actually believe in the latter’s values or have the courage to condemn Nathuram Godse.

During the two-day special assembly session last week, Baghel had also said Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was part of the conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi.

The Chhattisgarh CM has been on a week-long ‘Gandhi Vichaar Padyatra’ (foot march) as part of the Congress’ outreach programme to spread the teachings of Gandhi. It began from Kandel and will conclude in Raipur Thursday.

Also read: Bhupesh Baghel, new Chhattisgarh CM who put Congress back together after Naxal massacre

On Rahul Gandhi and a splintering Congress

On Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Baghel had said no one ever doubted the former president’s ability to lead the party.

“He worked really hard and everyone in the Congress wanted him to continue,” Baghel added.

Responding to BJP chief Amit Shah’s jibe at Rahul Wednesday for being on a holiday before the assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra, the CM said the ruling party was “scared” of the former AICC chief. “They know that he is the only one who can fight them.”

Asked if Rahul’s resignation from the post of president had left the Congress in a mess as it is currently seen in, Baghel evaded a straight reply.

“At least he (Rahul) took responsibility for his actions. BJP leaders like L.K. Advani and Uma Bharti couldn’t even do that. They went around saying ‘Ram lalla aayenge, mandir wahin banayenge’ (Lord Ram will come back and we will build the temple). But when it came to taking responsibility for the fall of the temple’s chabutra (platform), the leaders simply said they didn’t know how the structure came down,” he said.

Asked if the Congress was sidelining senior leaders in Uttar Pradesh, Baghel remarked that no such decision had been taken. “They are still in-charge of states, whether it is Chhattisgarh or Jharkhand. How can we say they are being sidelined? They have now been given advisory roles,” he said.

Baghel said those in power must also be held to account, and not just the opposition. “It’s not just the Congress (that) has infighting, BJP does as well. Why don’t we talk about that?”

Also read: Gandhi surrendered to extremist and jihadi elements among Muslims: RSS leader Vaidya