Defends Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s “Hindu nationalist remark”

Defending Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, whose “Hindu nationalist remark” kicked up a controversy, senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday defined Hindu nationalism as “cultural nationalism.”

“Pseudo-secular parties and a section of the media are trying to find fault with anything and everything Mr. Modi says fearing his growing popularity across the country,” Mr. Venkaiah Naidu told reporters at Kandukur near here.

“Hindu nationalism is nothing but composite cultural identity of people inherited from forefathers,” said Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, a key member of the BJP Election Campaign Committed headed by Mr. Modi.

On the puppy analogy made by Mr. Modi while commenting on the post-Godhra riots, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu said Mr. Modi had used the analogy only to express sadness over the incidents and not to belittle any section of people.

“We worship every form of life, including trees, rocks, snakes, and other living creatures in this country,” he added. Predicting early elections to the Lok Sabha, he opined that the Congress-led UPA wanted to “cut down on its losses” by advancing the polls after failing on all fronts, including internal security, external affairs, and management of the economy.

“While the rupee is at an all-time low, inflation is uncontrollable. For the first time, external debt is more than foreign exchange reserves,” he added.

Ruling out emergence of the Third Front or federal front in the present situation, he felt the BJP would get further strengthened in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. On the Telangana issue, he said the ruling party was trying to create an illusion through its leaders in different regions of the State that it was favourable to separate Telangana and United Andhra Pradesh at the same time.