Guwahati: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s remarks targeting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that he should start ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ (unite India rally) from Pakistan received strong criticism from Pakistan’s Foreign Office (PFO).
On Wednesday, Sarma while reacting to Rahul Gandhi’s launching of Bharat Jodo campaign said that India needed no unification as it’s already intact. He said that it was Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru, Rahul’s great grandfather who divided the country and made Pakistan. Sarma said that if Rahul Gandhi truly wanted to ‘jodo’ India then he must start the campaign from Pakistan.
Pointing at Sarma’s statement, the PFO in a statement said, “Pakistan categorically rejects the statement by senior BJP leader and Chief Minister of Assam propagating for Hindutva’s expansionist idea of so-called ‘Akhand Bharat’.”
It added that the gratuitous assertion was nothing but a manifestation of the ‘Hindutva’ majoritarian agenda of the ruling BJP and its revisionist and expansionist mindset that sought to subjugate the identity and culture of its neighbouring countries as well as its own religious minorities.
“It is evident that BJP political figures engage in falsehoods and fantasies while pointing fingers at neighbours, including Pakistan. In doing so, they want to divert the attention of the international community from India’s mistreatment and persecution of minorities as well as widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by the Indian occupation forces in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK),” the statement added.
PFO even advised Indian politicians to introspect, exhibit maturity, and not indulge in meaningless political rhetoric against other countries merely to further their divisive and parochial political agenda.
The Congress’s “Bharat Jodo Yatra” aimed to travel 3,500 km, covering 12 states and two Union territories in 150 days and targeted to establish a massive mass contact ahead of the 2024 general elections.
Sarma’s comment triggered a war of words even inside the country on Wednesday when reacting to his statement, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh who called the Assam chief minister called “boyish and immature”.
To which, Sarma took a jibe and said, “First, tell me who Jairam Ramesh is? Is he someone who lives in Assam? Who is he? I have no idea. Who will remember the name of a Congress leader? I was never very close to any man with such a name when I was in Congress. I don’t even know who he is.”