Congress attacks BJP, RSS; compares them with ISI

The Congress accused RSS and BJP of sponsoring "ideological terrorism" and drew a parallel between the opposition party and Pakistan`s intelligence agency ISI.

PTI| Updated: Oct 25, 2013, 20:04 PM IST

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday accused RSS and BJP of sponsoring "ideological terrorism" and drew a parallel between the opposition party and Pakistan`s intelligence agency ISI, saying both rejoice over communal riots in the country.

The party also dismissed as "childish" the BJP`s criticism of Rahul Gandhi for his statement that Pakistan`s ISI is trying to lure some Muslims in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar into terrorism.

"It was natural that enemies from outside will fish in troubled waters and will try to encash on communal tensions fanned by our own people here," party spokesperson Randeep Singh Soorjewala told reporters here.

"Rahul Gandhi acted as a responsible political leader in speaking the truth and forewarning people to beware of those seeking to divide communities. Going beyond politics, he forewarned the youth and the countrymen."

"What he has said is a fact that is known by the whole country that when the house is put on fire by insiders, the outsiders will try to benefit from it. When there will be communal tension in the country, outside forces inimical to India will try to take advantage," Soorjewala said.

He also rejected questions as to in what capacity an intelligence officer could brief Gandhi, who is not in the government, about such a sensitive issue saying even he used to get such briefings by various officers when he was in the opposition.

"Forces, which are dividing the country are also ideological. RSS and BJP engage in some sort of ideological terrorism, when they try to demolish the fabric of the country," he said.

Castigating BJP for "fuelling communal passion", party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed said that whenever communal riots happen in the country only two sets of people rejoice-- Pakistan`s ISI and India`s BJP.

"Whenever there is a riot in India, Pakistan`s ISI is happy....It gets huge money from Islamic countries in the name of protecting Muslims of India. While it gets money, BJP gets votes due to riots... BJP benefits from communal disturbances by engineering riots. It reached the figure 182 seats in Lok Sabha from its earlier position of only two seats by doing so," he told a news agency.

In an attack on not only BJP but also on RSS, Soorjewala virtually compared the latter with banned terror outfit SIMI. The party had sometimes back declared that the 2014 Lok Sabha election is not between Congress and BJP but between Congress and RSS.

"For the last few years, an atmosphere of hatred and confrontation is being created by people of BJP and RSS be it the Panchkoshi Yatra of VHP, Amit Shah raising Ram temple issue, BJP MP Yogi Adityanath courting arrest in Jhansi over a controversial issue or Muzaffarnagar riots in which a BJP leader uploaded a CD to create communal tension," he said.

To a question whether the RSS should be banned, Soorjewala reminded that the organisation was banned twice in past and that, too, by Sardar Patel.

In his recent speeches, Modi had been frequently referring to Patel and has announced a plan to build the tallest statue of Patel in Gujarat by collecting iron pieces from farmers all over the country.

"Be it SIMI or RSS, necessary action is taken by the Home Ministry against any organisation found involved in divisive communal propaganda that could lead to riots," he said.

Accusing Modi of lowering the level of political discourse and reading "scripted filmy speeches", Soorjewala said that is the difference between Modi and the Congress vice president as the latter never crosses the limits of decency even while criticising opposition leaders.

"There are some political leaders, who get their scripts written by somebody else like a film person. They have decided to take the level of political discourse to such lows, which is not dignified for politics. Narendra Modi is such a person."

"Perhaps this is the difference between Rahul Gandhi and RSS, BJP and some leaders like Modi, products of their ideology," he said.

He said Gandhi is in habit of telling plain truth and speaks from the heart and his statement regarding Muzaffarnagar should be seen in a context that whenever communities in the country will clash among themselves, outsiders and enemies like ISI will try to add fuel to the fire.

Soorjewala also vehemently denied that Gandhi`s remarks cast doubt over the loyalty of a particular community, saying Muslims and all other minorities are an integral part of the idea of India, which believes that people of different religions can live in the country together.

"Rahul Gandhi had only stated the obvious that forces will come from outside and try to take advantage of the communal divide," he said.

Party general secretary Ahmad recited a couplet, saying "Aag to apne hi lagate hain, gair to sirf hawa dete hain (It is our own people who lit fire, others only stoke it).

He said there is nothing surprising in Pakistan and ISI rejoicing over riots in India as they are enemies but it is unfortunate that our own people are spreading the fire of communalism.

Justifying Gandhi`s emotional pitch and his references to the assassination of his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi, Soorjewala said that the Congress vice president talked about these things not only as a son but also an Indian as the countrymen relate to their sacrifices and they had fought communal forces.

"Secularism and the history of sacrifice to protect it is bigger than politics," he said, adding that Gandhi had talked not only of emotions but also about basic structure of development and the pressing issues before the country.

Soorjewala also reminded Modi of senior BJP leader LK Advani`s disapproval of the former`s anointment as BJP`s prime ministerial candidate.

"We do not retire our senior leaders against their wishes... How Advani, senior most BJP leader and the political Guru of Modi was treated is known to all," he said.

The Congress spokesperson said there is no comparison between Rahul and Modi.

He also questioned Modi`s authority to speak on the issue of corruption and criminality of politicians reminding the Gujarat Chief Minister of cases against BJP leaders of Gujarat like Maya Kodnani, Babu Bokharia and Purushottam Solanki.