The Congress on Tuesday said it neither believed in nor practised communal politics, but had only reflected the sentiments of the people of Telangana by incorporating promises towards a particular community in its manifesto for the poll-bound state.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said it was the responsibility of the opposition party to ensure that the sentiments on the ground were reflected in their articulation of the manifesto.
"The Congress party has never done communal politics. The Congress party does not believe in communal politics. If there has been one all-enveloping umbrella which has accommodated flowers of every shade and hue, it is the Indian National Congress. So, on our pluralistic or secular credentials, we neither need a certificate from anybody nor do we need to answer for that," he said.
"If a manifesto in a particular state has a particular formulation, that formulation is primarily reflective of the sentiments of the people of that state and as a responsible, sensitive political party, it is our responsibility to ensure that the sentiments on the ground do get reflected in our articulation because after all, those are the commitments that we are making to the people of India," Mr Tewari said, when asked about promising sops for the Muslim community in the southern state.
According to reports, the Congress in its draft poll manifesto in Telangana is learnt to have promised schools for Muslims and free electricity to churches and mosques, besides making Urdu the second official language in the state.
The 119-member Telangana Assembly will go to the polls on December 7 and the results will be announced on December 11.