The word secularism is the "biggest lie" told post-Independence, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, prompting a strong retort from the Congress today.
"I feel the word secularism is the biggest lie (told) in India post-Independence...those who have given birth to and used the word repeatedly should apologise to the people of India...there is no word like secularism," Adityanath said.
He made the remarks while responding to a query about communalism and secularism at an event organised by the Dainik Jagran group in Chhattisgarh capital Raipur yesterday.
Adityanath said a political system "cannot be secular".
However, it can be "sect-neutral", he added.
Adityanath said it was not possible to run a government following a particular way of 'upasana' (worship).
"I have to look after 22 crore people (of Uttar Pradesh).
"I am answerable for their security and for respecting their sentiments. But I am not here to appease any particular community or caste," he said.
According to a media report, the chief minister also said there was "Ram Rajya" under the Narendra Modi government. The term 'Ram Rajya' is often used for describing an ideal state of affairs.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal hit out at Adityanath for his remarks, which he termed as the "biggest lie".
"Yogi Adityanath says 'secularism is a lie' and compares Modi's government to 'Ram Rajya'. This 'Truth' is perhaps the biggest lie," Sibal said on Twitter.
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