New Delhi: In a bid to defend himself for sharing a stage with controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday slammed Home Minister Rajnath Singh for meeting Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur.
Digvijaya Singh came under attack on Thursday for having dubbed the preacher a "messenger of peace" in 2012 and also sharing the stage with him. "I am being criticised for sharing stage with Zakir Naik, but what about Rajnath Singh ji meeting bomb blast accused Pragya Thakur," the Congress leader tweeted. "Pragya is an accused in bomb blast, is there a case against Zakir Naik as yet? What about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji sharing stage with Zakir," he further tweeted. Naik is under the scanner following revelations that two of the five young militants who massacred 20 hostages, including an Indian, at a popular cafe in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka on July 1, drew their inspiration from his speeches. "If Rajnath Singh visits Malegaon bomb blast accused Pragya Thakur, is that nationalism," Digvijay Singh told the media. "Sri Sri Ravishankar ji shares the stage with Zakir Naik, that's nationalism, but if I share the stage with him, I become anti-national? What kind of double standards are these?" "What is the allegation against Zakir Naik? Is he a terrorist, is there a case against him? Is he a criminal," he further said. Naik, founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in Britain and Canada for his hate speeches aimed against other religions.