Shashi Tharoor's fresh remarks have courted major controversy and is raising heated political debate between BJP and Congress. Tharoor commented that if BJP voted to power again in 2019, it will rewrite the Constitution and pave the way for the creation of a "Hindu Pakistan".
Tharoor's comments invited flak from right-wing groups who demanded apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the "attack on Indian democracy and Hindus".
"If they have been able to win a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha, then frankly, our own democratic Constitution, as we understand, will not survive... because then they will have all the three elements they need to tear up the Constitution of India and write a new one."
"And that will enshrine the principle of Hindu Rashtra, that will remove equality for the minorities, and that will create a Hindu Pakistan...and that is not what Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad and great heroes of freedom struggle fought for," Tharoor commented at an event in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Angry BJP Responds, Demands Apology from Rahul
Angry BJP came out strongly against Tharoor over his comments, with party spokesman Sambit Patra calling it "extraordinary" as it was an "attack on the Indian democracy and Hindus".
"Yet again Tharoor has cattle-classed Indian democracy. The Congress' character is that it crosses the 'Lakshman Rekha' (limit) in its hatred for Narendra Modi and the BJP, and in doing so, it assaults Indian democracy," Sambit shot back in Delhi.
Sambit said it was an insult to compare India's democracy to that of Pakistan, which he called "terroristan", and demanded that the Congress stop "fear-mongering".
"And you (Shashi Tharoor) compare our democracy to Pakistan's? Thanks to the Congress party, we have had black patches in our history, such as the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi during which the Constitution was suspended for two years," he said.
Hamid Ansari Backs Tharoor
Tharoor, however, got some support from former vice president Hamid Ansari.
"I have not read what he (Tharoor) has said. But he is an educated man, a writer, an MP...and heads Parliament's committee on external affairs. Whatever he says, he will say after thorough consideration," Ansari told a TV news channel.