NEW DELHI :
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday attacked Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath saying that while he was “saffron clad" he should understand that there was no space for violence and revenge in Indian ethos.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to hit back, with Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma accusing her of “attacking Hindu religion" and standing with those who indulged in violence during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests in the state.
The war of words between the Congress and BJP comes in the backdrop of Vadra visiting families of those who were injured in the clashes with the police during the protests in Uttar Pradesh. She has been holding a series of meetings with representatives of the Congress’ state units to lay out the future course of action.
“The soul of this country does not have space for violence and revenge...The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh wears clothes of a yogi (seer), he is saffron clad. That saffron does not belong to you, it belongs to the religious and spiritual tradition of the country. It is a sign of Hindu religion. Imbibe that religion which has no space for violence and revenge," Vadra said during a press conference in Lucknow on Monday.
She added that the BJP-led government was acting against its own people in the state. She, however, downplayed an incident over the weekend, when she alleged that she was manhandled by the police while visiting the residence of a retired IPS officer. She said that there were bigger issues in the state which needs to be discussed.
“It has become a habit of Congress to attack the saffron religion, saffron clothes and Hindu religion. Based on their traditions, the kind of statements that the Congress leader made today I think they have no idea what this means, what saffron means, because their family did (not) require such traditions and it is possible that they may have got a different value set of traditions," Sharma said in a press conference in Lucknow on Monday.
He added that in the name of “minority appeasement", Vadra was supporting those who had indulged in violence.