New Delhi: BJP on Thursday interpreted Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi`s remarks that Pakistani agencies were approaching victims of Muzzafarnagar riots to lure them into terrorism as an attempt to cast doubts about the patriotism of Muslims and demanded an apology from him.
"Rahul Gandhi has tried to point the needle of suspicion at Muslims by his remarks today. These Muslims did not go to Pakistan at the time of Partition and decided to live here," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told.
The BJP`s Muslim face condemned Rahul`s statement.
"Rahul Gandhi has raised questions about the patriotism of Indian Muslims by saying they were approached by ISI. This is unfortunate. He should apologise for his remarks," he said.
Speaking at a public meeting in Indore, Rahul had alleged that BJP is trying to divide the nation and damaging the country`s secular fabric. He invoked the Muzaffarnagar riots and said that Pakistani agencies were approaching some of the victims to lure them to terrorism.
Hussain said BJP has never said Indian Muslims are communal or that they can be influenced by Pakistan`s ISI.
BJP charged that the maximum number of communal riots have taken place under Congress rule and it has no right to allege that they are responsible for the recent incidents.
The Opposition asked why the Centre had not taken appropriate and prompt action in the recent Muzaffarnagar riots.
"Samajwadi Party, which is in power in Uttar Pradesh, is a Congress ally at the Centre. It failed to control the riots. Why did the Congress-led UPA government not take action against it? Rahul Gandhi cannot evade responsibility for it," he said.
"Thousands of riots have taken place during Congress rule over the decades. Most of them happened during the Prime Ministership of Rajiv Gandhi and P V Narasimha Rao," he added.