New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dislikes minorities and would like them to go to Pakistan, Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela said on Wednesday, a day after he commented in Gujarat that his party depended on minority votes.
"BJP dislikes minorities. They want them to go to Pakistan," the senior Gujarat Congress leader said on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi.
"Congress is the party of the common man. If an alert citizen votes for us, what is wrong with it," he said, responding to questions on his comment Tuesday.
Vaghela said Tuesday at a minority community meeting in Ahmedabad: "We are dependent on you (minorities). The Congress already bears the accusation of being a pro-Muslim party... So the onus of making us victorious is on you. Your lower turnout will not do... You have to come out in large numbers this time."
The comment led to the BJP accusing the Congress of treating minorities like a vote bank.
"If the BJP sees my comments in a different light, what can I do?" Vaghela said.
Vaghela, who is also chairperson of the India Tourism Development Corporation, has political roots in the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and was in the BJP before he joined the Congress.