Led by Sonia Gandhi, the Congress launched a frontal attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its allied organizations at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting on Tuesday, accusing them of being involved in terrorism.
“Recent revelations through detailed investigations have exposed the true character of the RSS and its sister organizations. The investigations indicate the involvement of its members in terrorist activities,” said a statement read out by senior leader Pranab Mukherjee and adopted at the AICC’s first meeting since the UPA came to power in 2009. “The RSS organisation is to be exposed,” Mukherjee added.
Rajasthan Police recently charged four persons associated with the RSS in connection with the 2007 Ajmer blasts, which killed three people. A few months ago, Union home minister P Chidamabaram had called terrorism inspired by Hindutva right-wing groups the new threat to the country’s security, sparking an uproar from the opposition BJP.
The AICC session, which lasted around four hours, had been called to endorse Sonia Gandhi’s re-election as party chief for the fourth consecutive term and to put in place a new Working Committee.
Gandhi’s speech further indicated the Congress political thrust.
In her opening remarks, Gandhi declared the September 30 Ayodhya verdict “in no way condones” the demolition of the Babri masjid (by Hindu zealots allied to the BJP in December 1992). “That was a shameful and criminal act for which the perpetrators must be brought to justice,” she said, adding that the fight against communalism and fanaticism had to continue.
“This is a political struggle, a struggle for a secular India. The abuse of religion to inflame passion, stoke prejudice and polarise our society will be forcefully resisted by our party and government,” she added.
There was no direct reference to communalism or the RSS in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s brief address. But in an allusion to divisive forces, he too said: “Our politics is about bringing society together, not breaking it.” He added: “If the Congress is strong, India is strong.” Gandhi touched upon a number of issues impinging the polity, government and organisation. And even as she heaped praise on the PM, she spelt out her wishlist for the government.