Yogi slams Rahul, claims his ‘ancestors called themselves accidental Hindus’

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Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday lashed out at Rahul Gandhi at a public meeting in Amethi without naming him, saying the Congress leader was lecturing people about the differences between Hinduism and Hindutva even though he had once sat on his knees in a temple instead of sitting cross-legged. Gandhi’s “ancestors called themselves accidental Hindus”, Adityanath claimed.

Adityanath made the remarks at an event to mark the end of the BJP’s “Jan Vishwas Yatra” in the Kashi region. Union Minister and local MP Smriti Irani was also present at the event.

Laying into Gandhi, who represented Amethi in the Lok Sabha thrice before losing in 2019, the chief minister said, “To whom Amethi gave the reins of the country after freedom, had they thought of [Sufi poet] Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s saying they possibly would not have differentiated between Hindu and Hindutva…Who always followed divisive politics? Whose genes are disintegration and division part of? Whose ancestors called themselves accidental Hindus? They cannot call themselves Hindus. Today, they are forced to bow down before your faith.”

Adityanath went on to say, “When your former MP is abroad, then he speaks against the country. And when he goes to Kerala [Gandhi is the MP from Wayanad], he speaks against Amethi and curses Amethi people. One should not be so selfish so as to hide his own failures by cursing those people who contributed to his elevation to the top echelons of power…I find this unjust for Amethi, state and nation. And this has happened with Amethi.”

The chief minister said he had never hesitated to refer to himself as a Hindu. “We don’t hide and have no nervousness. We said it when I was not a chief minister, we keep saying it when I am the chief minister, and will continue saying in future too — Garv se kaho hum Hindu hain [say with pride that we are Hindus]. We have no hesitation,” he added.

Adityanath said Hinduism does not divide people along the lines of caste and religion. “This is our cultural identity. If they had tried to understand that cultural identity then the unfortunate division of the country would not have happened in 1947. Their lust for power led to the division of the country and the same lust led them to follow appeasement politics and impose Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, lock the Ram temple in Ayodhya, show eagerness to break the Ram Setu and try to imprison Hindus by introducing the Communal Violence Bill,” he added.

The chief minister said the former Amethi MP sat on his knees during a visit to a temple in Gujarat during the Assembly elections there in 2017. This caused a priest to admonish him. “‘This is a temple and not a mosque, at least learn to sit,’” Adityanath quoted the priest as saying, and added, “Those who lack sacraments and still make propaganda about Hindus and Hindutva, it is just a matter of their intelligence…we all should feel proud of our traditions, culture and sacraments. We are Indians and Hinduism is our cultural identity and we should feel proud of that too.”

Lashing out at both Rahul and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Adityanath said the brother and sister committed fraud during the lockdown last year and played with the lives of migrant labourers. “They wanted to create chaos by disrupting government work…they will disappear after election tourism,” he added.

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