(Source: PTI)

Congress Seeks To Break BJP’s ‘Monopoly On Faith’, Says Shashi Tharoor

The Congress’ campaign before the Gujarat assembly elections was marked by Rahul Gandhi’s frequent visits to various temples.

This was part of a clear political strategy, according to senior Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor. “We need to neutralise the Hindutva message which Rahul Gandhi did successfully in Gujarat,” he told BloombergQuint in an interview.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has often accused the Congress party of being “godless pseudo-secular” in the past and the new strategy is aimed at countering “them by saying we are Hindus and our Hinduism is different from yours and now let’s talk about the economy”, Tharoor said.

The Hinduism which I know, cherish and value is not the Hinduism which attacks human beings in the name of cow protection.
Shashi Tharoor, Senior Congress Leader 

This strategy was in place even during the Padmaavat controversy when a hardline Hindu group known as Karni Sena alleged that the film is disrespectful of their culture as it depicts a romance between a Hindu queen and a Muslim king. The Congress lent its voice against the violent protests that followed only when a school bus with students and teachers was attacked. Tharoor admitted that political considerations were at play.

Congress Party’s tactical position here was not to antagonise a section of voters. Is that wrong or right, you can make your own choices.
Shashi Tharoor, Senior Congress Leader

The gambit seems to have paid off in Rajasthan where by poll election results showed the Congress sweeping two parliamentary seats a huge margin.