AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh today said the ruling BJP has "changed the meaning of secularism" and was taking up issues convenient to its political agenda. Addressing a gathering at the Rajiv Sadbhavana Yatra here, Singh hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying BJP was taking up issues that would "divide people on communal lines." "BJP has changed the meaning of secularism. Those who oppose BJP are being termed as 'anti-nationals'. Those who support them are called nationalists. According to BJP or Sangh, Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was behind the division of this country, is secular and Mahatma Gandhi who fought and took bullet for the unity of Hindus and Muslims is called communal," the senior leader alleged. He charged the BJP with taking political advantage out of the sacrifices made by the Indian soldiers. Reacting to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's recent remark where he credited his 'RSS teachings' behind taking decision to conduct 'surgical strikes' across LoC, Singh said, "Is it not insulting the Army? Our Foreign Affairs Secretary says surgical strikes were held even before also. You mean to say the Army had the ideology of Sangh at that time also?" Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar told a Parliamentary panel yesterday that the army had carried out "target specific, limited-calibre, counter-terrorist operations" across the LoC in the past too but this is for the first time the government has gone public about it. He ridiculed Modi's recent comments that the country would go from "Yudh" (war) to "Budh" (referring to Buddha, peace) and sought to know if the government wants to destroy the lives of lakhs of people before seeking "peace like Samrat Ashoka." "The NDA government has failed on all fronts. No jobs, no increase in FDIs, no black money brought back to India.
In order to cover up their failures, they want bring war between India and Pakistan," he claimed.
On the ongoing debate on Uniform Civil Code, the former MP Chief Minister suggested the government to take the opinion of the Opposition also on board. "Congress always took the opinions of all religious leaders and took decisions (when in power). Everybody has fundamental rights. When it comes to marriages it depends on the system of that particular religion. "If you want to bring Uniform Civil Code, then talk to the leaders of all religions. Discuss with all political parties. Try to get consensus. If you suppress the rights of a particular religion, then Congress will not accept," he said. He accused Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao of encouraging defections into the ruling TRS party. Telangana PCC President Uttam Kumar Reddy, former Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy were among those who spoke at the programme. Former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court, M N Rao was awarded the Sadbhavan Award-2016.