02 May 2018 – 20:48

Portrait in Aligarh: Congress demands BJP make clear its stand on Jinnah

A view of the sprawling, white, Jinnah Bungalow at Malabar Hill in Mumbai (AFP file photo)


New Delhi:  The Congress on Wednesday asked the BJP to make clear its stand on Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah and say what it thinks about him as some of its leaders including L.K. Advani had called him a “desh bhakt”.

“The BJP should make clear its policy on Jinnah… what they think about Jinnah. Their ‘margdarshak’ (guide) and tallest leader at one time, Advani, went and paid obeisance at Jinnah’s tomb in Pakistan and called him a ‘desh bhakt’ (patriot),” Congress spokesperson Rajeev Shukla said.

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“Even (former Union Minister) Jaswant Singh called him a ‘desh bhakt’ and praised him in his book. He also went to Karachi and paid obeisance at Jinnah’s tomb. An Uttar Pradesh Minister (S.P. Maurya) also called him a desh bhakt,” he added.

Maurya’s remark was in contrast to what Bharatiya Janata Party MP Satish Gautam had written to the Aligarh Muslim University’s Vice Chancellor, seeking an explanation over a portrait of Jinnah in the university students’ union office.

“If they consider Jinnah a patriot, they should say it. They should tell the nation what is their policy on Jinnah,” Shukla added.

“The Congress policy is very clear on Jinnah — he divided the nation, which had a deadly outcome. He should not have divided the nation. Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to unite the country but Jinnah ambushed it.”