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Rahul once again calls Shah ‘murder accused’, slams BJP’s fielding of Pragya Thakur

Says BJP fielding Pragya Thakur in Bhopal is reflective of the party's 'style' and 'way of operating'.

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Chandigarh: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has sought to draw a parallel between the murder charge against BJP president Amit Shah — who was later acquitted of it — and the candidature of Pragya Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts, whom the BJP has fielded in Bhopal.

In an interview to ThePrint Friday, Gandhi said Thakur’s candidature was reflective of the BJP’s “style” and “way of operating”. “It’s not even worth commenting on,” he said. “I mean how do I see the fact that president of the BJP you know was earlier accused of murder. How do I see that? I mean you know, that’s their style, their way of operating.”

This, however, is not the first time Gandhi has targetted Shah. In April, at a rally in Jabalpur, Gandhi had said: “Murder accused BJP president Amit Shah… waah! kya shaan hai,” Rahul had said. Have you heard Jay Shah’s name? He is a magician, he made Rs 50,000 into Rs 80 crore in three months.”

A month earlier, a complaint was filed by the BJP, with the Tripura chief electoral officer (CEO), against the Congress president for allegedly referring to Shah as a “murder accused” at a rally there on 20 March.

Later on, a court in Ahmedabad had in May summoned the Congress president in response to a criminal defamation suit filed by a BJP worker for calling Shah a “murder accused”.

Also read: 12 highlights from Rahul Gandhi interview: On Hindu terror, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, others

Congress and soft-Hindutva

In his interview to ThePrint, Gandhi also strongly refuted the charge that the Congress too has been playing soft Hindutva. “Why is going to a temple called soft-Hindutva? Am I not allowed to go to a temple? Am I not allowed to go to a mosque? Am I not allowed to go to a Church? Am I not allowed to go to the Golden temple? Am I not allowed to go to a Gurudwara?” he asked.

“I love going to these places. I love seeing spirituality of our country and I love going to places and listening to people who believe in different religions. Why am I not allowed to do it?”

Stating that everyone had the right to visit any religious institution, Gandhi said BJP is not the master of our religion. “Is it some rule that only BJP people can go to temples? Who said are they the masters of our religion?” he asked. “What gives them the right? Everybody has the right. You have the right to go to any religious institution you want.”

Also read: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi says sorry to SC over ‘chowkidar chor hai’ jibe, again


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  1. It is true. There is no bar for anyone to visit any religious place in India. No party can have a ownership of any religion.

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