Rajasthan BJP chief Madan Lal Saini Thursday claimed Mughal emperor Akbar tried to misbehave with a Bikaner queen in an all-women Meena Bazaar, which he used to frequent in disguise.
Speaking at a programme to mark Maharana Pratap's anniversary at the state BJP office in Jaipur, he said, "The entire world knows that Akbar organised 'Meena Bazaars' where only women worked. Men were not permitted to visit them. But Akbar used to visit them in disguise to commit 'dushkarm'," claimed Saini.
"It is recorded on the pages of history," he asserted, while talking to reporters on sidelines a function to mark the birth anniversary of Mewar king Maharana Pratap.
Saini later said by "dushkarm" or wrongdoing, he meant chhed chhad (indecent behaviour).
To prove his point, Saini narrated an incident related to Kiran Devi, a cousin of Maharana Pratap, who was married to Prithviraj of Bikaner.
"Once when Kiran Devi was visiting the Meena Bazaar, Akbar started pursuing her. But Kiran Devi identified the Mughal emperor and pushed him to the ground. At knifepoint, she asked who he was and Akbar replied the emperor of Hindustan was lying at her feet. He asked for forgiveness and same day Meena Bazaar was shut," Saini said.
"When we read stories from Maharana Pratap's life, we come to know he neither strived to grab other's land, nor accepted the rule of the person who attacked his land. Those who struggle for religion, culture and respect become great on their own," the BJP leader said.
Comparing Mahrana Pratap with the Mughal emperor is making mockery of the history, said Saini.
Maharana Pratap is great because he fought for his religion, culture and honour and never tried to grab anyone's land and never yielded to the people who attacked the country.
Saini's statement invited swift condemnation from the Congress, which accused the state BJP of creating communal disharmony. Congress vice president Archana Sharma flayed Saini's remarks.
"The entire country is proud of Maharana Pratap's valour and people imitate his values but the BJP leader has presented a distorted history which creates enmity in society and leads to its disintegration," Sharma said.
It is the Opposition's responsibility to maintain harmony in the society, she said, adding the BJP leader's statement is highly condemnable.
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