Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said he once told industrialist Ratan Tata that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) does not discriminate on the basis of religion. The senior BJP leader inaugurated a charitable hospital in the Sinhagad area in Pune.

Speaking on the occasion, he related an anecdote from the time when he was a minister in the Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra.

“A hospital named for late RSS chief KB Hedgewar was being inaugurated in Aurangabad. I was a minister in the state government then. A senior RSS functionary expressed wish that the hospital be inaugurated by Ratan Tata, and asked me to help,” Gadkari said .

He then contacted Tata and persuaded him to inaugurate the hospital citing Tata Cancer Hospital’s contribution in providing cancer care to the poor in the country, he said.

“Upon reaching the hospital, Tata asked if the hospital is only for people from the Hindu community. I asked him ‘why do you think so’. He immediately replied, ‘because it belongs to the RSS’.

“I told him that the hospital is for all communities, and no such thing (discrimination on the basis of religion) happens in the RSS,” the Union minister said.

He then explained several things to Tata and the latter “became very happy”, Gadkari added.

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