New Delhi: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has said that his party won't have any problem if Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar decides to join the grand old party.
The Congress leader made the remarks while giving interview to CNN-IBN.
“If he (Kanhaiya) were to come to our party, I see no reason why he wouldn't be welcomed, but he has got another political affiliation,” Tharoor said.
When asked about the nationalism debate going on across the country, the Congress MP said, “Who has made nationalism into an issue in politics today. It has been a very clear political strategy of our friends in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They have decided that they are going to appropriate nationalist mantle and depict their critics and opponents as anti-nationals. To my mind this is an extremely dangerous territory of any party in a democracy, and especially the ruling party in a democracy to go on.”
“The ruling party is not the government and the government is not nation,” he added.
“Every body who swears by the Constitution is as much a nationalist as everybody else is. Therefore, for the BJP to create acid test for nationalism and to be a true nationalist you have to say 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', believe in certain Hindutva political beliefs or would have to move to Pakistan, is a kind of rhetoric which is unnecessary divisible,” Tharoor asserted when asked to comment on whether Congress was the biggest nationalist party or the BJP.
Notably, Kanhaiya Kumar met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi last Tuesday.
This was the first time that the Congress vice president met Kanhaiya since he was released on bail from a prison here where he was lodged following an uproar over alleged anti-national activities at the JNU campus. The student leader was charged with sedition.
Earlier, Gandhi had come out in full support for Kanhaiya amid the unrest at the JNU.