Guwahati: Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi India's "Hindu Jinnah", former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday accused him of following the "two-nation theory" of the Pakistan founder to divide the nation on the basis of religion.
The Congress veteran leader also decried Sunday night attack on JNU students, saying it was reflective of the BJP's "policy of repression that would bring further misfortune" for the country. The massive protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed pan-India NRC have made it clear that Indians do not want the kind of Hindutva the BJP and the RSS seek to bring into the country, he said.
"The prime minister alleges that we (the Congress) are talking the language of Pakistan, but it is he who has reduced himself to the level of the neighbouring country. He is following (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah's two-nation theory (to divide the country) on the basis of religion and has emerged as India's Hindu Jinnah," Gogoi said, launching a stinging attack on Modi.
"We are Hindus but we don't want our country to become a Hindu Rashtra. The majority of people who are protesting, and even those who have been killed, are Hindus. They do not want the Hindutva the BJP and RSS are propagating," he told a press conference.
He said violence of the kind that was seen at JNU on Sunday night posed a threat to the country's unity and integrity. The 3-time former chief minister of Assam said the anti-CAA protests began in the state and gathered steam there, but it spread across the country because of the BJP's "policy of repression".
Calling the Modi government "arrogant", the Congress leader claimed it would go to any extent to enforce the new citizenship law. Referring to the killing of five protesters in police action during the anti-CAA stir in Assam, Gogoi said the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state were still blaming the Congress and the Left for the violence.
"Are we so powerful that we can instigate AASU, AJYCP, KMSS and all other regional organisations to come out on the streets to protest? There is no conspiracy. The BJP has no political knowledge and is not interested in listening to the voice of the people," Gogoi said.
The BJP, he asserted, will not be able to win even 25 of Assam's 126 seats if assembly elections were to be held immediately. Such was the enormity of public anger, he said.