With the grand success of G20 Summit in New Delhi where the country got all stakeholders to sign a joint statement, India handed over the presidency to Brazil on Sunday. Away from the intricacies of foreign policy, now it’s time for the BJP to focus back on domestic politics.
This week onwards, the BJP will slowly mount an aggressive political attack on not just Stalin Junior but the INDIA bloc — particularly the Congress — for the ‘Sanatan Dharma’ remark, say sources.
BJP’s top brass will start raising the issue on campaign trail in poll-bound states from this week. BJP leaders will question the “silence” of INDIA bloc over the comment of Udhayanidhi Stalin, which kicked off a massive row that has since been supported by DMK’s A Raja, and Priyank Kharge, Congress leader and son of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. “In the coming week, the BJP as a party and its leaders will raise this issue on various social media platforms highlighting the duplicity of the opposition. Watch out for the big rallies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh,” a BJP leader told News18 requesting anonymity.
Sharing a short video comprising the pictures of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife’s visit to Akshardham temple in Delhi on Sunday where they offered Puja, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla used the song ‘Jai Siya Ram’ in the background while posting on X, “They set out to destroy Hindus and Sanatan? Now, the flag of Sanatan waves proudly in the entire universe.”
Interestingly, Rishi Sunak’s speech delivered this August during a Ram Katha event at Cambridge University on the Indian Independence Day mentioned ‘Jai Siya Ram’, which received massive traction. When Sunak reached New Delhi to attend the G20 event, Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey greeted the dignitary with the same phrase. Sources in the government indicate it was a “careful decision”.
However, Poonawalla insisted that his post on X should not be linked to anything else. “All I am saying is that attempts to attack Sanatan Dharma and Hindus have been made by invaders and perhaps in the modern day by the political, ideological progenies of those invaders or those who champion the causes of those invaders but Sanatan Dharm continues to flourish," Poonawalla told News 18, adding that the Congress justifies it and “goes a step further and questions the very birth of Hinduism”.
Poonawalla reminded how the Congress denied the existence of Lord Ram and coined the term “Hindu terror” and even compared Hindutva to ISIS. “Despite that, today you have the Shiv Shakti point on the moon, a prime minister of Britain who is proud to wear his Hindu faith on his sleeve, a majestic display of Nataraj at Bharat Mandapam, the idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam becoming the central theme of global consensus," he quipped.
Although the dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday night in New Delhi saw Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, father of Udhayanidhi, sources say that doesn’t change the BJP’s strategy which stems from a clear instruction from the “very top” on the ‘Sanatan Dharma’ issue.
On Wednesday, before flying off for the ASEAN meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi informally met his ministerial colleagues whom he categorically asked to give a “befitting reply" to those who are targeting Sanatan Dharma. He asked his ministers to stick to facts and convey their retort while speaking to people.
Likening Sanatan Dharma to coronavirus, malaria, fever caused by dengue virus and mosquitoes, Udhayanidhi reportedly said, Sanatan (Sanatana Dharma) should not be opposed but “eradicated”. Later, while speaking exclusively to News18, he said, “I will always stick to whatever I said, and I will say it again and again.”