Congress Divided Over DMK Leader’s “Eradicate Sanatana Dharma” Remark

The BJP has jumped on DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin’s “eradicate sanatana dharma” remark to target the INDIA opposition bloc – of which Mr Stalin’s DMK is a member – and gain leverage ahead of state elections this year and the 2024 Lok Sabha poll.

New Delhi: As the Bharatiya Janata Party continues its onslaught on Udhayanidhi Stalin for his “sanatana dharma must be eradicated” remark, the Congress on Monday seemed to waver between support for the embattled Tamil Nadu politician and rejection of his comment.

Senior leader KC Venugopal underlined the need to respect all religions, stating that every political outfit “has the freedom to (express) their views” and that the Congress “respects everybody’s beliefs…”

“Our view is clear… ‘Sarva Dharma Samabhava’ is the Congress ideology,” he said.

On the other side was Kamal Nath, who told reporters, “These may be his personal views… I am not in agreement with Mr Stalin.” The ex-Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister is prepping for an Assembly election in his state later this year.

The most forceful comment was from Karnataka minister Priyank Kharge – who is party boss Mallikarjun Kharge’s son. He said any religion that does not give equal rights is “as good as disease…”

“Any religion that does not promote equality, or does not ensure you have dignity of being human, is not religion, according to me. Any religion that does not give equal rights… is as good as disease…”

Shiv Sena UBT leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also offered support. She posted on X defending “sanatan dharma (as) the country’s bedrock… linked… to inclusiveness of all faiths and identities”.

Sanatan Dharm stands for eternal truth – way to live life, conscience & being. Sanatanis have long withstood attacks by invaders to end their identity yet have not just survived but thrived. Country’s bedrock, linked to sanatan dharm, has been of inclusiveness of all faiths and identities,” she said.

“Anyone making derogatory comments it is ignorant of what it stands for.”

Ms Chaturvedi also hit out at the BJP over “fake concern” that “exposes their sick hypocrisy” and pointed to violence during protests in BJP and Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena-ruled Maharashtra.

Mr Stalin later accused the BJP of “twisting” his statement and spreading incorrect information, and that he is ready to face any cases filed against him, including one filed with Delhi Police on Sunday.

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