BJP has upped the ante over the ‘Hindu Pakistan’ comment of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor and subsequently a report where Rahul Gandhi is quoted to have said to an Urdu daily, ‘Congress is a Muslim party.’

“One day he says 'I am a janeu-dhari Brahmin'. The next day he says, 'No, I am a Muslim-dhari or whatever it is called in Hindi,” lashed out Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a press conference on 13 July.

The minister called it a ‘course correction’ of the grand old party. An Urdu newspaper Daily Inquilab has quoted Rahul Gandhi saying in a closed-door meeting to a dozen eminent Muslims that Congress is essentially a party for Muslims.

Though the party's media division head Randeep Singh Surjewala clarified on Twitter that the party worked for all sections of society, he did not deny Rahul Gandhi said what the INC president is reported to have said. The spokesman said, “…Congress is the foundational idea of India. No Bhakt will deter us from treading the path.”  The problem arose with the party failing to explicitly deny the purported quote of Rahul Gandhi.

And the BJP was quick to grab the opportunity that was served to them on a platter. “Mr Rahul Gandhi should make it clear, is Congress a Muslim party? Isn’t it against the Constitution? We think everything is being said systemically. First, Karnataka minister supported Shari'ah courts; then Shashi Tharoor called India a ‘Hindu Pakistan’ and now Rahul Gandhi calling Congress a Muslim party… It’s a divisive strategy of the party,” lashed out BJPs Sitharaman.

One may recall Gandhi has recently tried an image makeover with a trek to the Kedarnath temple. Earlier this year, he went on a temple trail during the Gujarat Assembly election. Even during the Karnataka election, he met with many Hindu sect heads. These were efforts to reposition Brand Rahul Gandhi with a soft Hindutva touch. But with this alleged quote attributed to him turning into a big row. it is now doubtful that his Hindu PR exercises will bear fruits hereafter.