New Delhi: In what is expected to raise a political storm and initiate a war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday said that there will be bloodshed if an attempt is made to change the Constitution.
While speaking in the Lower House today, Kharge said, "Agar samvidhaan badalne ki koshish ki toh rakhtpaat hoga" (there will be bloodshed if an attempt is made to change the Constitution).
Meanwhile, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has decided to expunge the word "rakhtpaat" from Parliament proceedings record.
The Winter session of Lok Sabha today began with an animated debate on the Constitution during which the government said the word 'secularism' mentioned in it had been "misused" while the opposition, led by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, raked up the issue of 'intolerance'.
Kharge, who spoke for over an hour, also rejected the criticism that nothing was done in the last 65 years saying that several projects were initiated by Jawahar Lal Nehru towards building a modern India.
It was only because of the initiatives taken by the Congress government that it had become possible for the Centre to implement laws like Right to Food Act and Right to Education, he said.
The Congress leader said it was not correct on the part of Home Minister Rajnath Singh to object to introduction of words like 'socialist' and 'secular' in the Preamble of the Constitution.
The Home Minister came out with a strange definition of secularism, Kharge said, adding "it should be our dharma to follow the spirit of the Preamble" of the Constitution.
Several other opposition parties also raked up the intolerance issue, saying the untoward incidents witnessed in the recent past should be condemned as they send out "negative messages" and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the matter.