Patna: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Bihar wasted no time in slamming former party leader Shatrughan Sinha for praising Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah as an Indian Congress leader while praising other Congress leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at a campaign rally in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh.
Sinha, a lifelong BJP leader who recently switched his allegiance to Congress after the BJP refused to re-nominate him from Patna Saheb seat, while campaigning for Chief Minister Kamal Nath's son Nakul Nath who is Congress candidate from Chhindwara constituency on Friday, said that the Congress was the party of stalwarts like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Netaji Subhash Chnadra Bose and that is why he had chosen to join the party.
As criticism started to pour in, Sinha hurried to clarify his comment saying it was merely a 'slip of tongue'.
"I meant to say Maulana Azad but erroneously said Mohammed Ali Jinnah. People should not try to make anything out of it," Sinha said in a press statement.
That did not stop his opponents in Bihar who slammed the actor-turned-politician of 'hurting the sentiments of millions of Hindus.'
"Someone from Bihar will never make a mistake of this magnitude. By praising Jinnah who was responsible for the division of India, Shatrughan Sinha has insulted crores of Hindus just to gain the votes of the minority," BJP MLC Nitin Navin said on Saturday.
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader and a candidate from Jamui Chirag Paswan also took a dig at Sinha saying not only the former BJP leader went to Congress, he had learnt the lingo of the Congress Party as well.
Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi, while condemning Jinnah, said that Shatrughan Sinha's comment were his own and the Grand Alliance had nothing to do with it.
Meanwhile, Congress Bihar in-charge Shakti Sinh Gohil said the BJP was making a mountain out of a molehill because it was not faring too well in the Lok Sabha election.
"This is a non-issue but the BJP is trying to seize the moment by making it a big deal. It was a slip of tongues as Mr. Sinha said himself and that should be the end of it but BJP is losing its mind over it," Gohil said.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS