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Chhattisgarh Congress MLA calls for Hindu Rashtra, party says it’s personal opinion

Chhattisgarh Congress MLA Anita Sharma.

Raipur: Amid the Bhupesh Baghel government adopting a soft-Hindutva approach, Anita Sharma, a legislator from the ruling Congress party, has called for solidarity in constructing a ‘Hindu Rashtra.’ She invited individuals to join hands in realising this vision.

The Congress legislator representing the Dharviwa constituency, located near the state capital, delivered her speech during a gathering commemorating the birth anniversary of Shankaracharya of Puri, Swami Nischalananda Saraswati on Friday.

Sharma emphasised the importance of unity in establishing a Hindu Rashtra and stressed that all Hindus should unite for this purpose. A video clip of her statement went viral on social media over the weekend. Speaking in the local Chhattisgarhi dialect, she said, “In every corner of the country, let us take an oath to create a Hindu Rashtra… We must voice the concerns of Hindus, and this can only be achieved if all Hindus join forces.”

Anita Sharma, a first-time Congress MLA, won the November 2018 elections. She is the widow of late Congress leader Yogendra Sharma, who was martyred in a deadly Maoist ambush in Bastar in May 2013. The Congress MLA’s statement about Hindu Rashtra comes at a time when there is speculation within Congress circles that the party may consider not nominating her for the upcoming assembly elections scheduled for November this year.

However, the state Congress spokesperson, Sushil Anand Shukla, sought to downplay her statement, describing it as her personal opinion. Following the party’s reaction, the Congress MLA clarified that her statement was “misinterpreted,” stating that she intended to speak about the unity of people in the country. She said, “I was talking about the unity of all people. For me, the concept of Hindu Rashtra represents the unity of all religions.” She further added that attempts were being made to politicise her statement.

The Congress government led by Bhupesh Baghel has been pursuing a “Soft-Hindutva” approach since coming to power. This approach includes renovating temples, promoting the Ram Gaman Path, and focusing on schemes and projects involving cows.