Mumbai: UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday said the BJP had succeeded in wrongly convincing people that the Congress was “a Muslim party” and the more public focus on its leaders visiting temples was to perhaps to counter that perception.
“BJP has managed to… I don’t say brainwash… that’s a bit of a rude word… But it has managed to convince, to persuade people that the Congress is a Muslim party,” said Gandhi when asked about Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s temple visits in Gujarat and if her party was looking at something called soft Hindutva.
“Now, I ask… in my party, the great majority is Hindu… and different sections of … but yes, there are Muslims. So, I fail to understand this branding us as a sort of Muslim party,” she added during an interactive session at an India Today conclave here.
Gandhi furhter said: “We have always been to temples. When I used to travel with Rajiv (Gandhi), whereever we went there was always at least one major important temple which we would visit. But we never made a show of it. It was quite natural.”
She also stressed that Rahul Gandhi had gone to temples earlier too.
Asked if it was a deliberate deliberate thrust in that direction, she said: “I don’t think so.”
Asked if her party thought the BJP can’t monopolise the whole Hindutva movement, she replied: “Maybe… there is a bit of this because we have been pushed into a corner on that… you know… And so, perhaps rather than going to a temple quietly, then maybe yes… a little more of public focus on that.”