Countering the controversy on Rahul Gandhi's remarks on 'Hindu terror', Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday said that her party made no distinction between organisations of majority and minority communities who indulge in communalism and terrorism and called upon partymen to practice secular ideals.
In her remarks at the inaugural session of the party's plenary at Burari in New Delhi, Gandhi said the country is defined by its deep and abiding commitment to secularism and has fought against all forms of communalism, regardless of their source.
"The Congress party makes no distinction between organisations of the majority and minority communities who indulge in communalism and related acts of terrorism. They are all dangerous and must be all defeated," Gandhi said.
Her remarks came days after party general secretary and her son Rahul Gandhi's remarks - that terror from Hindu radicals may be a bigger threat than support for Islamist groups from some in the Muslim community - triggered a political storm and a war between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.
She said communal forces were misusing religion for "vested interests" and "creating walls of hatred".
"We cannot ignore such elements who provoke people to violent means by using religion. They are very dangerous," she said.
She said secularism does not mean denial of religion but respect for all religions and celebration of other's faiths and beliefs.
"We cannot ignore the pernicious impact of individuals, institutions and ideologies that distort our history, that thrive on spreading religious prejudice and that incite people to violence using religion as a cover," she said.
Gandhi said that India, if it loses its secular moorings, would no longer remain "the India that our founding fathers and great leaders fought for and even gave their lives for".