"People Of Sangh Parivar Breaking India": Mani Shankar Aiyar

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Wednesday alleged that the "people of the Sangh Parivaar" are breaking India into pieces on the basis of religion, caste and culture and the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a manifestation against such attempts.

Mr Aiyar, who has often courted controversies with his remarks, targeted the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and outfits related to it while speaking to reporters at the AICC headquarters during the Congress foundation day function.

The BJP slammed his remarks, saying the only time "India was broken was at the time of Partition" and blamed Congress for it.

Mr Aiyar said, "On the basis of religion, language, caste and culture, the people of Sangh Parivar have been breaking India into 'tukde tukde' (pieces). The Yatra is being undertaken against their wrong actions as there is a need for uniting India. We feel it." 

Mr Aiyar was seated next to former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi at the 138th foundation day function at the AICC headquarters.

"I can see that happen. Can't you see... There is much effort to break it (country)..," Mr Aiyar said, when asked if India is "fragmented" (toota hua), and added that all have to "fight against it and the Yatra is a manifestation of this".

Hitting back, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said Rahul Gandhi says that during his Yatra he could not see hatred or violence while, he claimed, Mani Shankar Aiyar says "Bharat toota hua hai".

"Who is correct?" he asked.

He said the Congress party which itself is broken is now trying once again to undermine the contribution of Sardar Patel by saying through Mani Shankar Aiyar that 'India is broken'.

"Bharat toota hua hai. Meaning, Sardar Patel could not unite India or it is broken and Rahul Gandhi will unite Bharat. Rahul Gandhi's own party is broken from Rajasthan to Delhi to Goa, to Karnataka to Telangana. 

"Rahul Gandhi must fix his own party and unite his own party before he speaks and talks about uniting India, which apparently is broken in his views," the BJP leader said.

"The only time India was broken was at the time of Partition - thanks to the Congress Party and to those politicians who put their own interests above national interest.

"Therefore, Mani Shankar Aiyar, you must explain - Is Sardar Patel and his contribution being undermined by you and the Congress Party," he alleged.

Mr Poonawalla also said that time and again, the Congress Party has undermined Sardar Patel's contribution to uniting India.

"Today, this is not 'Bharat Jodo'. This is actually a Yatra of Bharat todo, nafrat jodo' (break India and spread hatred) by the kind of elements they have taken together right from George Ponniah to Medha Patkar to many others," he said.

The BJP has often accused the Congress of siding with the "tukde tukde gang", a term it has used for those it alleges want to break the country.

Veteran Congress leader and former union minister Mr Aiyar's remarks have stirred controversies earlier too. Mr Aiyar had in January 2014 made the famous "chaiwallah" remark against then BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, asking him to open a tea stall outside the Talkatora stadium where the Congress meeting was being held at the time.

He later made the "neech aadmi" remark against PM Modi in 2017, ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh elections which the BJP won.

The BJP then encashed on Mr Aiyar's controversial remark to gain public sympathy. 


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Originally Published at NDTV News-India-news

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