Shashi Tharoor has been known for taking potshots galore against the Bharatiya Janata Party and on Tuesday, the Congress MP launched yet another scathing attack by accusing the rival party of bigotry and of having divided north and south India. In the next breath, he also lavished praise on Rahul Gandhi and said that he is the person capable of bringing everyone together on the path of harmony and progress.
Tharoor criticised BJP on a number of fronts, including Sabarimala Temple and of having created a wedge between north and south India. "I am surprised that the BJP has exploited Sabarimala. They have done nothing to ease the pain of devotees. They converted a sacred shrine into a place for political theatre," he said, adding that the Congress does not believe in interfering in sacred traditions. "There is no opportunism in Congress, but it is there in BJP. BJP's Hindutva and Hindi agenda has alienated the people of the south. "We need someone from the north to heal the divide. Rahul is saying 'I too am one of you.'"
While Tharoor has said that the BJP is alienating people of south India, the saffron party has made massive inroads here over the past several years. In Kerala, the party cadre has worked hard to get a foothold and while it has remained elusive so far, Tharoor believes it is Congress that is in a position of strength here. "BJP is growing with a communal agenda. People of Kerala think of being Malayalee or Indian first. We are not easily prone to BJPs bigotry. I won't be surprised if BJP falls to third place (in Thiruvananthapuram)."
Tharoor has often come under massive return fire from BJP for his scathing opinion of the saffron party. In a tweet on January 31 of 2019, Tharoor had also levelled allegations of Hindi and Hindutva dividing the country. At the time, Sambit Patra of the BJP had countered by saying that Tharoor - and Congress - was trying to target Hindus in India.