Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday spoke to R Bharat's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami after Navjot Singh Sidhu's polarising speech during a Lok Sabha election rally.
The BJP candidate from Patna Sahib slammed the party for its stand on several issues including making religion a poll agenda, as well as sedition law, AFSPA and also responded to Priyanka Gandhi's charge at the party over nationalism.
"I was in Delhi. Yesterday, Priyanka had asked what is your nationalism. We are those people who are proud of our nation, do not ask proof about our martyrs, we are those people who probe against terror and if needed carry the probe across the border and know that the all Indians love the country.
"I had raised a few questions about nationalism today. Why did Rahul Gandhi go to give a speech in front of 'Tukde Tukde Gang'. When it comes to the election, he becomes janeu dhari, talks about gotra, but when the situation becomes bad then he goes to Wayanad. These questions must be raised. Why is the Congress against the Triple Talaq? Why does Congress drop the agenda of development and talk about religion?"
When questioned about Union Minister and BJP's candidate for Sultanpur Maneka Gandhi's polarising speech in her constituency, he said, "I have a simple answer, the EC has decided on the matter and it has been accepted."
He also spoke about polarising speeches and nationalism becoming poll agenda than development.
"If there are questions over nationalism, Balakot, demanding proof about the strikes, then these become agenda. Why did the Congress have the proposal to remove sedition law in its manifesto and to review the AFSPA? Clearly, this is vote-bank politics.
"I am talking about nationalism because Priyanka Gandhi had raised it and hence I want them to look in the mirror and see how their stand is about dividing the nation. The Congress and the mahagathbandhan continue to take the line questioning the forces," he said.
When asked if the BJP was raising these issues to garner votes, he said,
"We don't connect the country's security and self-respect with elections. If the Pulwama had not happened ahead of the elections, then these things would not have become an issue."