Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s terse one liners often turn out to be profound comments which catch even some of his die-hard fans napping.
The latest in his ‘anthology’ came during an interaction with journalists at the National Press Club in Washington DC, when he claimed that the Muslim League is a "completely secular party". (‘‘There is nothing non-secular about them. I think the person who asked the question hasn't studied the Muslim League.’’)
BJP slammed Gandhi on his remark
The BJP, which keeps waiting for Rahul’s outlandish comments, could not help remarking that the Kerala outfit is guided by the same mindset that was behind Mohammad Ali Jinnah's All India Muslim League.
It may be recalled that Rahul’s grandmother Indira Gandhi had similarly been criticised when she claimed that the Muslim League in Kerala was not a communal party. She was defending the Congress party’s alliance with IUML, which ruled the state for several rounds. Then, too, the opposition parties had responded with the same argument, contending that it was the party responsible for the country’s partition.
Now, sample, what union Minister Anurag Thakur said on Friday.
They wanted Shariah and separate seats reserved for Muslims: Anurag Thakur
"These are the same people who had stayed back after partition. They formed the Muslim League here and became MPs. They wanted Shariah and separate seats reserved for Muslims. They are the same people who are part of the same Muslim League. It is Rahul Gandhi and the Congress that sees Hindu terrorism but feels Muslim League is secular," Thakur said.
BJP national spokesperson and MP Sudhanshu Trivedi, in turn, noted that Jinnah's party had swept the pre-Independence provincial polls in Madras presidency, of which Kerala was then a part.
Anyhow, for the moment, the Indian Union Muslim League has found a cheerleader in Rahul and welcomed his statement that the Kerala-based party is completely secular.
About Indian Union Muslim League
IUML, a strong constituent of the Congress-led UDF in Kerala for many decades, had extensively campaigned for Gandhi's victory when he contested from Kerala’s Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The leading role played by the Muslim League in the campaign had, in fact, prompted Amit Shah, then the BJP president, to claim that Rahul Gandhi was contesting from a seat where ‘one cannot make out whether the place is India or Pakistan’. Obviously, he was hinting at the green colour flag of IUML.
IUML general secretary P K Kunhalikutty asserted that Rahul’s position stemmed from his party’s experience of working together with the Muslim League.
"Rahul Gandhi's statement that the Muslim League is a secular party is based on his party's experience. We look at it with great responsibility. The Muslim League's close relationship with Congress dates back to the days of Indira Gandhi," Kunhalikutty said.
In a facebook post, the veteran Muslim League leader claimed that even the Kerala leadership of the BJP has admitted to the role of the Muslim League in guiding Muslims on the right path when many tried to mislead the minority community post-demolition of the Babri Masjid three decades ago.