National

Jinnah Is And Always Will Be A Great Man, Says BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| May 11 , 2018 , 11:44 IST

Contradicting the stand taken by the Bharatiya Janata Party on 'Father of Pakistan' Muhammad Ali Jinnah, BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich Savitri Bai Phule called Jinnah a 'maha purush' (great man) on Thursday.

"Jinnah was a great personality. He contributed to freedom struggle. He was, is and shall always remain a great person," Phule said on Thursday.

She added that portraits of such "great people should be placed at all appropriate places".

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Phule's comments come barely 10 days after a massive controversy arose at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) over a portrait of Jinnah being hanged there. Previously, UP cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya had also praised Jinnah, calling him a 'great person' but retracted the statement after being pulled up by the BJP leadership.

BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi reiterated that the saffron party's stand on Jinnah is quite clear and that Phule made the comments in a personal capacity.

"The party's stand on Jinnah is very clear. He was a villain who divided the country. She [Phule] has given this remark in her personal capacity. The party is taking note of these remarks and will take appropriate action," said Tripathi.

It was a BJP MLA from Aligarh Satish Gautam who raised questions as to why Jinnah's portrait continues to hang on the walls of AMU, which sparked the controversy, as well as protests. Clashes took place at the AMU campus after right-wing activists attempted to barge into the AMU campus on May 2 and demand the removal of Jinnah's portrait, while AMU students protested against police inaction.

The Jinnah controversy has left politicians divided, while many say that Jinnah should not be celebrated since he led to the Partition of India, which caused millions of deaths, others say that Jinnah did serve an important rule during the freedom struggle of the nation.