New Delhi: In a veiled dig, Congress MP Shashi targeted Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his holy dip in Sangam at Prayagraj on Tuesday by saying that ‘everyone is naked in this Sangam’.
In his rare Hindi tweet
Interestingly, Tharoor’s comment comes on the backdrop of speculations that newly-inducted Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi would kick off her political rallies in the state after taking a holy dip in Kumbh at Prayagraj.
Reacting sharply to Tharoor’s post, union minister Smriti Irani said, “For Shashi Tharoor to make a statement which tantamounts to a religious slur… Question needs to be asked of Rahul Gandhi who strategically wears a ‘janeu’ (sacred thread) only when there are polls, as to why he has allowed this attack on beliefs of millions of Hindus across the world.”
Her party colleague and UP Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said: “How will he understand the importance of Kumbh? The atmosphere he’s in, the culture he has been brought up in, he doesn’t understand this. You people have committed a lot of misdeeds, take a holy dip in Kumbh and you might be able to repent for your sins.”
The BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh pulled out all the stops to make the annual Kumbh fair a grand event, even though it is not the full event but only Ardha (half) Kumbh. Opposition parties like the Congress have accused Yogi Adityanath, one of the BJP’s star campaigners, of trying to exploit the mega religious gathering in India’s most politically critical state ahead of the national election due by May.
“Politics and religion are not far apart,” Yogi Adityanath told reporters on the criticism.
After the cabinet meeting, the chief minister announced a massive Rs 36,000 crore Ganga expressway project to connect western Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut to Prayagraj. Yogi Adityanath claimed it would be the world’s longest expressway at about 600 km.