Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has sparked controversy yet again.
In his first television interview since he became chief minister, Adityanath told public broadcaster Doordarshan that there is nothing wrong with the idea of a Hindu rashtra (country).
"I want to say something clearly. That is, the idea of Hindu rashtra is not wrong. A full bench of the Supreme Court has clearly ruled that Hindutva is not a... religion, or a ritual but a way of life. If this rashtra (nation) and raasta (road) helps to improve the lifestyle of people, to bring them happiness, then there should be no reason why anyone should hesitate to adopt it," NDTV quoted the Uttar Pradesh chief minister as saying in the interview.
Both BJP and RSS backed Adityanath's remarks.
"For far too long, we have been pseudo-seculars who frowned upon anything that is Hindu. What’s wrong in the CM’s statement? He said that he would follow the path of peace and progress. Hinduism has always stood for peace," Hindustan Times quoted UP BJP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak as saying.
"There can be a new mode of worship and that mode of worship cannot disconnect, disown, deride, the pre-religious status of a culture, history, intellectual legacy of a nation. The Hindu rashtra is a secular, democratic and an inclusive concept," ANI quoted RSS leader Rakesh Sinha as saying.
Meanwhile, Adityanath has also assured that those who abided by laws had nothing to worry about. "Those who abide by the law have no reason to worry. But those who don't believe in the rule of law ought to be worried," The Times of India quoted him as saying.
Adityanath has also said that anti-Romeo squads were meant to save girl students from harassment and not to harass consenting adults. Adityanath has also appealed to people to not take law in their own hands during protest against shifting of liquor vends from highways to populated areas.
The chief minister made the appeal while reviewing with police, excise and administrative officers some alleged incidents of outburst of people's anger during protest against shifting of liquor shops to populated areas following a Supreme Court order banning sale of alcohol near highways, an official spokesman had said.
You can watch Yogi Adityanath's full interview with DD News here:
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Apr 07, 2017 10:00 AM