Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut, on Tuesday, backed Rahul Gandhi’s statement in Parliament, asserting that the leaders of the INDIA bloc do not align with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ideology of “fake Hindutva”.

His words come a day after Leader of the Opposition Rahul Gandhi’s remarks, “Modiji is not Hindutva, BJP is not Hindutva, RSS is not Hindutva”, stormed the Parliament.

Raut told newswire ANI that Hindutva is not about spreading hatred. “We do not align with the fake Hindutva portrayed by the BJP,” Raut emphasized.

The UBT leader further mentioned that Hindutva is a much broader term. He took a dig at the BJP and said the Hindus should hear the speech once again to understand the essence of his remarks.

“Rahul Gandhi ji has not said anything wrong about Hindus and the Hindu community. He said that Modi ji is not Hindutva and BJP is not the entire Hindu community,” Sanjay Raut told the wire agency.

Sanjay Raut justified his statement by citing Maharashtra’s situation. He mentioned how the BJP often accuses Shiv Sena of abandoning the Hindus. Raut, however, claimed he hasn’t.

“I have not let go of the Hindutva. I have abandoned the Bharatiya Janata Party,” Raut told ANI. Hindutva is a part of the culture and tradition, not a means to spread hatred, he said.

On Monday, Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi’s speech in the Lok Sabha followed a heated debate. BJP leaders accused Gandhi of misleading the House by conjuring “a bunch of lies” and allegedly “labelling the Hindu community violent”.

Rahul Gandhi and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge each took multiple digs at the Modi government by highlighting the NEET-UG controversy and education policies of NCERT and CBSE.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah has demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi. After the speech, the BJP held a press conference to denounce Gandhi’s comments. The Congress also held a meeting to slam the BJP-led government at the Centre.