Jinnah not an icon of India; BJP polarising, communalising issue, says Congress

May 04, 2018, 22:14 IST | PTI

He charged the BJP with doing "dirty politics of sensationalism, divisiveness, polarisation" and said this needed to be condemned.

Mohammed Ali Jinnah
Mohammed Ali Jinnah

The Congress said on Friday that Muhammad Ali Jinnah was never and would never be an icon of this country as it condemned the politics allegedly being played out by the BJP to create polarisation and communalisation. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi accused the BJP of provoking sentiments and communalising the atmosphere by raking up an "artificial" issue of Jinnah's picture at Aligarh Muslim University, which has led to violence in the Uttar Pradesh town.

He charged the BJP with doing "dirty politics of sensationalism, divisiveness, polarisation" and said this needed to be condemned.

"I can clarify unequivocally that Jinnah is not, has never been and should not be an icon in this country in any way. He was a part of the freedom struggle at one time, but certainly he is no icon of this country," he told reporters.

"...the issue raised today is purely an artificial issue, the issue raised today is only for polarisation. The issue raised today is only for communalisation," he said.

Singhvi said if a photograph is hanging for decades and a group of people suddenly enter and deliberately make provocative statements and try and do identity politics and provoke people before the election, "this is equally condemnable".

"This is the dirty politics of sensationalism, divisiveness, polarisation, which only one party for the last 70 years and before that for another 50 years has been precisely practising," he said.

A Samajwadi Party MP today likened Muhammad Ali Jinnah to Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru as tension simmered at Aligarh Muslim University, the centre of a row over a portrait of the Pakistan founder. The administration suspended internet services in communally-sensitive Aligarh district from 2 pm today to midnight tomorrow to prevent "rumour mongering".

AMU students continued their sit-in at the university's Baab-e-Syed gate, where they had clashed with the police on Wednesday.

They are boycotting classes for the next two days. Wednesday's clash took place when the students were demanding action against right-wing protesters who had entered the campus and wanted Jinnah's portrait removed from the student union office, where it has been hanging for decades.

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