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Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], June 3 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Friday slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his remarks in the US and demanded that he tender an apology.

Hitting out at Rahul for labelling the Muslim League, the Congress's ally in Kerala, as a secular party during an interaction with journalists in Washington DC on Friday, Keshav Prasad Maurya said, "2024 (Lok Sabha) elections aren't too far away and he (Rahul) should say whatever he wants to among the people. Why he is insulting the nation on foreign soil? He must apologise."Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is on his three-city visit to the United States, sparked a row after he said that Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kerala is completely a "secular party". The remark invited criticism from the BJP.

Asked about the Congress's alliance with Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kerala, Rahul claimed said there is nothing non-secular about the Muslim League.

Rahul Gandhi represented Wayanad in the Lok Sabha before being disqualified from Parliament. following his conviction in a criminal defamation case.

Drawing parallels between IUML and the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah's party, Union minister Kiren Rijiju lashed out at Rahul stating that it was "extremely unfortunate" that some people in the country "still consider the Muslim League as secular."Rijiju questioned how Jinnah's Muslim League, which was behind the country's partition on religious lines, was a secular party.

Having drawn the BJP's ire over Rahul's remark, the Congress made a distinction between Jinnah's Muslim League and its ally in Kerala.

Congress leader Pawan Khera has supported Rahul's statement, claiming that the BJP had forged an alliance with the Muslim League in Nagpur.

"I think today's BJP of PM Modi and HM Amit Shah doesn't have any knowledge of Indian politics. They might have knowledge of Pakistan's politics but not India's...Syama Prasad Mookerjee had forged an alliance with Jinnah's Muslim League. This (IUML) is the Muslim League with which BJP forged an alliance in Nagpur," Khera said.

Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala also backed Rahul's claim about the Muslim League as "100 per cent correct". (ANI)

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