Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury attacked Pragya Thakur, the BJP candidate from Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal, on one of her earlier remarks that the Hindus do not believe in violence. Mr Yechury said the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata that she narrates are filled with instances of violence.
"Pragya Thakur said that Hindus don't believe in violence. Many kings and principalities have fought battles in the country. Even the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are also filled with instances of violence. Being a pracharak, you narrate the epics but still claim Hindus can't be violent? What is the logic behind saying there is a religion which engages in violence and we Hindus don't," he questioned.
The leader said that BJP is spreading "Hindutva agenda".
"After the initial phases of elections, they came back to the core Hindutva agenda - abolition of Article 35A (that allows the Jammu and Kashmir state's legislature to define "permanent resident" of the state) and section 370 (article that gives autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir), construction of Ram Mandir on the disputed sight, Uniform Civil Code and National Register of Citizens (NRC)," he said, adding that on the back of such issues, the decision to bring in Pragya Thakur to contest from Bhopal after the third phase is a step taken "to hype the sentiments of the people."
Mr Yechury recounted the non-violent traditions of the country citing the Mauryan Empire's acceptance of the Buddhist philosophy. "The Mauryan Empire accepted Buddhism after the Battle of Kalinga. Ashoka's edicts state that anyone who attacks other communities, damages his own community. Our tradition is this and not the one propagated by the BJP," said the CPM leader.
He elaborated on genesis of Hindutva by recounting some instances from history. "Vinayak Damodar Savarkar has himself said that Hindutva has no relation with Hinduism. It is a political project. His slogan was, "Hinduize the Military and Militarize the Hindus and he encouraged young Hindus to join the military. This was the way how Hindus were organised into the RSS, Mr Yechury pointed.
The person who got inspired by this philosophy was Balakrishna Shivram Moonje. He went to Italy and got inspired by Mussolini. He came back and opened a military academy which inspired the later day Hindu nationalists," he said.
"It is a fallacy to say that Hindus can't engage in violence as historicity doesn't verify this claim. All the private armies that have been built in the name of moral policing are based on this philosophy," he said.
Sharpening his attack against PM Modi, Mr Yechury said, BJP's narrative is that if India has to fight against terrorism, one has to support PM Modi, "but the reality is that the fight against terrorism is a united effort otherwise we play to the tunes of the terrorists themselves," he said.
"If you take out the records of terrorist attack, in PM Modi's tenure, 626 terrorist attacks took place and 483 security personnel lost their lives. Ceasefire violations amounted to 5,596 compared to 563 in the preceding five years. The number of civilians who died in PM Modi's tenure is 210 as compared to 12 in the preceding five years," he said.
He urged the people to vote for Digvijaya Singh and defeat Pragya Thakur from Bhopal.
Four phases of election are complete and three phases remain on May 6, 12 and 19. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.