Bahraich: Raising the pitch on the JNU issue, BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday said Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders should clarify in Parliament if "anti-national" slogans should be tolerated in the name of freedom of speech.
Attacking Rahul Gandhi, who had joined the agitating JNU students, Shah alleged that he was supporting the forces dividing the country for "votebank politics".
"Today debate is being held in the Parliament whether raising anti-national slogans should be tolerated in the name of freedom of speech or not.
"I specially want to ask Congress and its workers whether those raising slogans like 'Afzal Guru tere hatrayre zinda hain' and 'Bharat ke tukde honge' were traitors or not," Shah said at a public meeting at the unveiling of the statue of 11th century king of Shravasti, Raja Suheldeo.
"I want that members of all parties sitting in the biggest panchayat of the country which is Parliament should clarify whether raising anti-national slogans was freedom of speech or sedition. This also has to be decided by the people of the country," he said.
Targeting Rahul, Shah said, "I want to ask him to clarify before the people whether he supports the anti-national slogans...If not then he should condemn it."
"Rahulji don't stoop so low for votebank politics. The country got freedom due to the sacrifice of thousands of martyrs. You are supporting the forces dividing the country in the name of freedom of speech," he said
Rahul has come out in support of JNU students, who are protesting the arrest of JNU Students' Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charge, and has accused the RSS and BJP of imposing their ideology.
Describing the contribution of Raja Suheldeo, Shah said his name is taken with pride not only in Uttar Pradesh but the entire country.
Shah said when a foreign mercenary, Salar Gazi (Ghaznavid general and nephew of Mahmud of Ghazni), came to destroy Surajkund, Suheldeo thwarted his mission and destroyed Ghazi's entire army.
The BJP president said if those, who participated in the freedom struggle remembered Suheldeo, then young generation should take inspiration from him.
He said those who do not remember their brave ancestors cannot create history.
He said by unveiling Suheldeo's statue a message would be sent to every village and coming generations about how mercernaries can be defeated.
Suheldeo is mentioned in Mirat-i-Masudi, a 17th-century Persian-language historical romance. Twentieth century onwards, various Hindu nationalist groups have characterized him as a Dalit Hindu king who defeated a Muslim invader.