Those who consider Muslim League secular are criticising Gandhi Peace Prize to Gita Press: Jitendra Singh

New Delhi, Jun 19 (PTI) Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday hit out at the Congress for its criticism over awarding the Gandhi Peace Prize to Gita Press, saying nobody has any objection to it except those who consider Muslim League a secular organisation.

“Geeta Press is associated with India’s culture, our ethos and Hindu belief, and it produces affordable literature which reaches every household,” Singh said while replying to questions at a press conference at the BJP headquarters here.

Congress general secretary-in-charge of communications Jairam Ramesh had on Sunday alleged that the decision to honour Gita Press with the Gandhi Peace Prize is a “travesty” and “it’s like awarding Savarkar and Godse”.

Asked about Ramesh’s remark, Singh said, “And, who are those levelling allegations? They are those who say that Muslim League was secular.”

The Congress forgot that it was the Muslim League “which gave two nation theory, got India partitioned and took credit for the creation of Pakistan,” the Union minister said.

“I think getting into these kinds of debates is a sheer waste of energy,” he said.

He was referring to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks during the US tour that the Muslim League is a completely secular party and there is nothing non-secular about it. Rahul Gandhi was answering a question about his party’s alliance with the regional party.

The BJP had then lashed out at his statement, alleging that the Kerala party is guided by the same mindset that was behind Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s All India Muslim League.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, Ramesh said, “The Gandhi Peace Prize for 2021 has been conferred on the Gita Press at Gorakhpur which is celebrating its centenary this year.”

“There is a very fine biography from 2015 of this organisation by Akshaya Mukul in which he unearths the stormy relations it had with the Mahatma and the running battles it carried on with him on his political, religious and social agenda,” he said.

“The decision is really a travesty and is like awarding Savarkar and Godse,” Ramesh added.

Without taking names, Singh said that nobody has any objection to Gita Press getting the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2021 except “two leaders of the Congress”.

“Two leaders of Congress have objections just because they have to criticise… Gita Press is associated with India’s culture. They did not partition the country, like the Muslim League did,” the minister added.