NEW DELHI: Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday defended his 'soft-Hindutva' comments by stating that the Congress party should stick to its ideology which it has followed long before India attained Independence.
"I genuinely believe, even in the last elections, the BJP got 37 per cent votes but 63 per cent people of the country do not agree with them. And even in the 37 per cent, there are some who do not want to see India becoming the majoritarian state it is becoming now. In my view, Congress should stay anchored to its own principles which have stayed for not just 70 but 130 years and those are that India is for everybody, an inclusive country," he said.
Tharoor was speaking to reporters after attending a meeting of Congress and National Students' Union of India (NSUI) leaders ahead of the upcoming Delhi University Students' elections (DUSU).
The Congress leader also took part in the campaigning ahead of the DUSU elections.
Clarifying his earlier statements on the issue of soft-Hindutva, Tharoor added, "I just want to say that Congress has its own ideology and agenda. We don't believe in caste, religion or regional politics. We believe in working for all."
Tharoor said that if Congress tried to copy BJP's stance, it would mean them leaving their core ideology.
"If we try to behave like the ruling party then why should the people vote for us. Let the ones who want to go to their side leave, they have temporary support today. We lost the elections and that is okay, but we should never leave our principles and ideology," he said.
Tharoor added: "On the core principles of the party there should be no compromise. I came to Congress because it was the best vehicle for the advancement of the country. It stood for the India that Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad and Mahatma Gandhi fought for."
The MP also said that there was no major disagreement in the Congress and the debate surrounding his statements would move the party forward in a better direction.
"I think there is a healthy disagreement about the ideology but it is good because it will lead to the answers as to why and how people will vote for the Congress," Tharoor said.