Himanta Sarma doubles down on ‘Like Saddam Hussein’ dig – Flying Journals


Rahul Gandhi at a recent rally in Surat during his Gujarat campaign in Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Guwahati:

Assam Chief Minister and leading BJP pollster Himanta Biswa Sarma today doubled down on his recent taunts against former party Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, proving and repeating his The controversial comment that “Rahul Gandhi looks like Saddam Hussein with a beard”.

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“I only say ‘looks,'” he stressed NDTV interview.

“Rahul looks beautiful. He is a very attractive person. But, as of now, you compare pictures (of Saddam Hussein and his) and see for yourself,” Mr Salma added , dodged questions about the comparison, with the deposed Iraqi dictator, seen as a public spin that fuels stereotypes.

Responding to congressional charges that he sounded like a troll, Mr Salma claimed he had no idea what “troll” meant.When told it was basically insulting, he said, “I just suggested that if Rahul Gandhi cut his beard or something, he would look like [former PM Jawaharlal] Nehru”, referring to Mr Gandhi’s great-grandfather.

When Mr Sarma first teased about “looking like Saddam Hussein” last month, he said it would be better if Rahul Gandhi looked more like Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi.

Mr Sarma also denied any ideological shift when he left parliament to join the BJP, insisting he had “wasted 22 years of my life in congress“Until he resigned in 2015.

“In Congress, we used to adore a family. In the BJP, we adored the country,” he claimed. He was once the Congress minister of Assam, has since served as a minister and is now the chief minister of the BJP government.

Sticking to the line the BJP used aggressively in the recent Gujarat elections, he doubled down on the widely circulated Hindutva theory of rioting and other crimes. This includes a “love jihad” over the alleged murder of Hindu woman Shraddha Walkar in Delhi by her Muslim boyfriend Aaftab Poonawala. Asked how he came to conclusions based on religion when there was no evidence and all communities reported similar crimes, he insisted, “It’s time we legally define what ‘love jihad’ is, ’ and claimed, ‘We have a lot of evidence in our state.’

He went a step further by attempting to place responsibility for communal unrest on specific communities – alluding to Muslims – saying, “Hinduism generally does not contribute to unrest.”

Reminding court decisions involving trans-community people in the 2002 Gujarat riots, he said, “I said Hindus generally Don’t fuel the riots. Hindus do not believe in “Jihad”. As a community, Hinduism is peaceful. “

Would he have made the same point if he was still working in Congress, citing rhetoric: “What is an ideological shift? I said ‘Hindus love peace’ – would Congress disagree?”

Even at the conclusion of Shraddha Walkar’s murder – when the police did not claim any common angle – he said he would not comment on the premature release of 11 men who raped a Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano, and killed her family during the attack. 2002 Gujarat riots. “I’m a lawyer. I don’t talk about things in court,” he argued.



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