New Delhi: Congress leader CP Joshi stoked a controversy on Thursday by claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Uma Bharti are not qualified to speak on Hinduism. He was addressing a gathering at Sema village in Rajsamand district of poll-bound Rajasthan.

Joshi claimed that only the Pandits and the Brahmins are the ones who are qualified to speak on religion. “Uma Bharti, who belongs to the Lodi samaj, is talking about Hindu religion. Narendra Modi too belongs to some other religion and talks about Hinduism,” he reportedly said. The leader also targeted Hindutva icon Sadhvi Ritambhara.

A video of Joshi making the controversial statement has been tweeted out by BJP leader Harsh Sanghvi. “Shameful statement by Congress Leader CP Joshi. Implies what does a lower caste person like Modi know about Hinduism as only Brahmins are true custodians of Hinduism,” he tweeted. The comments by Joshi come a few days before Rajasthan goes to polls on December 7.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra also tweeted out on the issue and termed the statement by CP Joshi as ‘appalling’.

Earlier on Wednesday, Joshi had claimed that if any government can deliver on the promise of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya, it is under a Congress prime minister. He also targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and accused the party of misleading people by raking up the Ram temple issue in the election season. “The will build a grand temple after the apex court’s verdict on the matter,” told reporters in Nathdwara.

Joshi is contesting the December 7 state polls from Nathdwara. The counting of votes for the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly will be held on December 11.