TAMIL NADU

BJP chief's statement flayed

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM DEC. 25. The IUML all-India general secretary, E. Ahmed, today criticised the BJP president, Venkaiah Naidu, for his new line of `cultural nationalism'.

In a statement here, Mr. Ahmed said that the cultural nationalism propounded by the BJP president was nothing but another form of fascist Hindutva. It was another method of the BJP to implement its Hindutva agenda. This was a negation of the pluralistic culture of the nation, built on strong concepts of secularism and patriotism. He said India's plural society would have to face this onslaught on patriotic nationalism and secularism. He said that Mr. Vajpayee's statement that "Hindutva cannot be made an election issue" needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.