In view of Shashi Tharoor’s “BJP making India a Hindu-Pakistan” comment, the Congress leader has been asked by his party to keep “restraint and caution”.

The leader, however, defended what he had said. In a Facebook post, Tharoor wrote: “I have said this before and I will say it again. Pakistan was created as a state with a dominant religion, that discriminates against its minorities and denies them equal rights. India never accepted the logic that had partitioned the country. But the BJP/RSS idea of a Hindu Rashtra is the mirror image of Pakistan — a state with a dominant majority religion that seeks to put its minorities in a subordinate place. That would be a Hindu Pakistan, and it is not what our freedom movement fought for, nor the idea of India enshrined in our Constitution.”

“Many proud Hindus like myself cherish the inclusive nature of our faith and have no desire to live, as our Pakistani neighbours are forced to, in an intolerant theocratic state. We want to preserve India and not turn our beloved country into a Hindu version of Pakistan,” he added.

Speaking on the topic “Threats faced by Indian Democracy and Secularism” at an event on Wednesday, the Congress MP said: “…the great danger then is that if they are able to win a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha, then frankly our democratic constitution as we understand will not survive because they will have all the three elements they need to tear up the Constitution of India and write a new one. That will be a new one which will enshrine the principle of Hindu Rashtra, will remove equality for minorities,  that will create a Hindu Pakistan.”

Amid demands for apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “Rahul Gandhi must apologise for what Shashi Tharoor said. Congress was responsible for creation of Pakistan because of its ambitions yet again it has gone ahead to demean India and defame Hindus of India.” Patra also posted on Twitter, deploring Tharoor for his comments.