New Delhi: Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmad on Wednesday stoked a controversy with his "Muslim" terrorists remarks, prompting BJP to accuse the party of trying to "divide the country on communal lines" and demand an apology from it.
"Thankfully Chhota Rajan & Anup Chetia (ULFA) are not Muslims. Had they been Muslims Modi govt would have a different narrative altogether," Ahmad tweeted.
Lambasting the Congress leader, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said Ahmad made a "very appalling and shameless comment" and tried to discriminate among even terrorists on religious lines.
As his remarks raked up a row, Ahmad said he was simply trying to expose the "double standards and double speak" of the BJP and Modi government on the issue of terror.
Reacting to Ahmad's remarks, Patra said, "Shakeel Ahmad, who is a tall leader of Congress, has made a very appalling comment. It's a shameless comment. Congress has divided the society for petty political gains on the lines of Hindus and Muslims."
"It has created vote banks in the society and today they are trying to differentiate between even terrorists in the name of religion. They are discriminating between Hindu terrorists and Muslim terrorists. What kind of a statement by Ahmad is this," he asked.
Patra recalled that few days ago, another Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar was trying to give "excuses" over the IS attack in Paris.
"And today we have this kind of statement from Ahmad. What do they (Congress) want? They want to divide the country along communal lines. None other than the chief of Congress party Sonia Gandhi should come out and explain the trend that is being seen in the Congress party. They should apologise," he said.
Asked about the comments of Ahmed, senior Congress leader Girija Vyas said though she has not seen the remarks she thinks that Ahmed meant that terror has no religion and all should be treated equally.
Clarifying his comments, Ahmad said, "Had they been Muslims, the BJP would have said that Congress government or UPA government did not arrest them and did not bring them back to the country simply because they were Muslims. They would have said that the Congress and UPA were thus trying to do vote bank politics. That is why I remarked that. I have tried to expose the double standards of Modi government and the BJP."
While accepting that "terror off course has no religion", Ahmad recalled that an NDA leader, who is now a minister, had sometime ago said in Parliament that all Muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims.
"It is very unfortunate. That is why I was simply trying to expose the double standards of Modi and BJP," he reasoned.