The congress’s attempts to get rid of an ‘anti-Hindu’ tag by celebrating Hindu festivals at the party’s Madhya Pradesh headquarters here has not gone down well with a section of its leaders.
Former PCC secretary Akbar Baig registered his protest Monday by walking into the headquarters carrying non-vegetarian delicacies and other dishes to remind the Congress that it should also celebrate Bakrid as the party swears by secularism.
“I don’t know whether it was the sight of mutton and biryani or the presence of Muslims, but except one, all leaders present in the headquarters maintained distance from me,’’ Baig told The Indian Express.
Incidentally, the party has celebrated several Hindu festivals at the headquarters since installing an idol of lord Ganesha there on August 29. In contrast, BJP in Madhya Pradesh celebrates only Ganesh Chaturthi by installing an idol, a tradition it has followed since decades.
“If they are bent on celebrating festivals, why not include festivals associated with other religions as well,’’ said Baig. The Congress leader said that he had gone to the party office during Dussehra with sweets and vegetarian items.
Baig’s action follows comments from former union minister Kantilal Bhuria, who had opposed installation of idols of Ganesh or Durga, arguing that people belonging to various faiths frequent the PCC office and such a move might hurt their religious feelings.
State Wakf Board ex-chairman Gufran-e-Azam has also spoken against celebrating religious festivals at the headquarters.
The practice of celebrating Hindu festivals was started by PCC chief Arun Yadav. On the opposition from several party leaders, he said, “What’s wrong in celebrating festivals? Our leaders used to associate with festivals outside the PCC office.’’ Congress spokesperson Sangeeta Sharma, however, said the party would celebrate Barkid on October 8. She is responsible for ensuring daily prayers at the PCC and had recently invited girls to the party office for a kanya bhoj .