The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on Wednesday reacted strongly to Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi's remark that RSS was no different from banned terror outfit SIMI.
"Only a sick mind can do it (compare RSS to SIMI). He seems to have lost his mental balance. RSS is an institution of nationalist thought while SIMI has been banned by their (Congress) government as it was banned by us when we were in power," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
RSS hit out at the Congress General Secretary saying he needs to learn more about the country before making such "meaningless" statements.
"He should brush up his knowledge before making meaningless statements. He should know the difference between RSS and banned outfits and know the history of Congress party, which has been accused of fundamentalism in the last six decades," RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said.
Rahul "has a long way to go in politics, He should have better knowledge of India. He should learn more before making such statements," Madhav said.
Javadekar said, "Congress knows it is not winning in Madhya Pradesh. I can understand its frustration. Congress has been losing elections of late, be it the NSUI losing student union elections in Delhi or the party losing by-elections in several states. Rahul Gandhi's magic is not working for the Congress."
He insisted that RSS had served the nation during crises in the past and its contribution to the country was immense.
"Rahul Gandhi has shown political immaturity and engaged in unruly behaviour," Javadekar said.
The BJP and the RSS was reacting to Gandhi's statement made in Bhopal where he described the RSS as "fanatical", saying it was no different from banned terror outfit SIMI and that both hold "fundamentalist" views.
When pointed out that the radical Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was a proscribed outfit, which was not the case with RSS, the Nagpur-headquartered right-wing group, Gandhi stated that this did not matter much for him.