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Shashi Tharoor Says BJP Workers Threatened to Kill Him, Vandalised Office Over 'Hindu Pakistan' Remark

Shashi Tharoor posted a series of tweets on Monday to say that his office was ransacked by the BJP Yuva Morcha who also drove away the people who were waiting to meet him and submit petitions.

Neethu Reghukumar | CNN-News18

Updated:July 16, 2018, 6:15 PM IST
New Delhi: Almost a week after senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s controversial “Hindu Pakistan” comment kicked up a row, he alleged on Monday that members of BJP Yuva Morcha have threatened to kill him while also vandalising his office in Thiruvananthapuram.

"More details are emerging of their vile conduct. They threatened to kill me & to shut down my MP office. This is an assault on democracy & on freedom of expression. We have taken it to the Kerala Police," wrote Tharoor.

The Congress leader posted a series of tweets to say that his office was ransacked by the BJP Yuva Morcha who also drove away the people who were waiting to meet him and submit petitions.

The protesters threw tar on the MP's office walls, kept a wreath in front of the office and raised slogans like “go back to Pakistan”.

“Today @YUVAMORCHABJP vandals attacked my constituency office in Thiruvananthapuram. They poured black engine oil on signs, doors, walls & gate, drove away innocent citizens waiting with their petitions, put up offensive banners & shouted slogans asking me to go to Pakistan,” wrote Tharoor.

Tharoor, however, was not present in the office when the incident took place. The Congress district committee has decided to file a police complaint against the attack.

The Yuva Morcha activists, shouting slogans against Tharoor, barged into the office and even tied a banner saying "Hindu Pakistan" office.

Tharoor later added, “We have asked the BJP a very simple question. Have they given up on the dream of Hindu Rashtra, they don’t answer that. By attacking me, they are pretending to defend the Constitution, but what we see today is their answer to a question that they are otherwise unable to answer. Vandalism, goondaism, driving out the people who have come with their petition, this is the kind of politics that they want to practice. People of Thiruvanthapuram and the people of India will reject this. We want a politics where they are free to express their opinion and we are free to express ours, not politics where the answer to a free opinion is acts of violence and vandalism.”

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and KPCC president MM Hassan extended their support to Tharoor and visited the office. Chennithala said that Tharoor cannot be stopped and intimidated by the BJP with "such acts of vandalism".

“The attack on Tharoor’s office by BJP goons is not acceptable. Is this the way to behave in a democratic system? Tharoor has every right to voice his opinion on issues. So many people were waiting to see the MP today and they were dispersed by these people. They tried to ransack the office. I request the state government to take strong action against those behind the attack,” Chennithala said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Tharoor had kicked up a storm by saying that if BJP is voted to power in 2019, it will pave way for a “Hindu Pakistan” and tearing up of the Indian Constitution.

His comment of “Hindu Pakistan” invited criticism not only from the ruling BJP, but also his fellow party workers who condemned the statement.

However, Tharoor reiterated on Monday, "He added, “When we say we don’t want India to become a Hindu Pakistan, we are not praising Pakistan. We are saying that Pakistan was founded on the principle of one religion. That is not the idea behind India and we don’t want India to become that. But the BJP apparently doesn’t understand this.”

On July 14, a Kolkata court issued summons to Tharoor over the controversial remark.

On Monday, when someone on Twitter pointed out to Tharoor that the vandalism was only an “equal and opposite reaction”, Tharoor shot back saying, “No one. The equal reaction to a speech is a rebuttal speech. Not vandalism. But you need to be a democrat to value that. Not too many of those in the Sangh Parivar, clearly.”

Congress workers took out a protest march on Monday and burned effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They also raised slogans that the BJP cannot intimidate them with such attacks.

| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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