Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has “committed a sin” by comparing JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar with Bhagat Singh, a senior BJP leader said Monday, adding that such a comparison amounted to “blasphemy”. “Tharoor has committed a sin. Comparing Kanhaiya Kumar to Bhagat Singh is essentially blasphemy. He should apologise to the nation,” tweeted BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao.
In another tweet, Rao said, “Why is Congress hell bent upon insulting great men who have sacrificed everything for the nation.”
Addressing a group of students in JNU Sunday night, Tharoor had said, “The biggest victims of sedition law under the British rule were Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Annie Besant and Bhagat Singh”. When a student mentioned Kanhaiya, who is facing charges of sedition, Tharoor responded, “Bhagat Singh was the Kanhaiya Kumar of his time.”
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The BJP also attacked Congress over Tharoor’s remarks, accusing the party of speaking in many voices over the JNU row and the Kerala MP of seeking “cheap popularity by insulting our martyrs.”
“Congress leaders are playing this double game on the signal of their president Sonia Gandhi. They have been insulting martyrs for cheap publicity. BJP rejects Congress’ comments over Tharoor when he continues to defend himself,” said BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma. He added, “Bhagat Singh went to the gallows hailing Mother India while we all know what Kanhaiya is accused of. You can praise anybody you wish but you should not insult martyrs”.
Meanwhile, Tharoor clarified that he did not intend to equate Kanhaiya with Bhagat Singh. “You are finding one marginal thing which was said in response to a comment from the audience. Bhagat Singh was fighting colonial rule and foreign oppression and Kanhaiya is fighting for his beliefs in a very different democracy… so, the situations are different but the comparison (was) – young, Marxist, idealist, passionately committed to their motherland, in their 20s…that’s all,” he said.
Queried about the controversy, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “There has been only one Bhagat Singh. There is only one Bhagat Singh.”
With inputs from PTI