Renewing his attack against Narendra Modi, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh alleged on Friday that the Gujarat Chief Minister's politics is based on "hatred and religious divide" as indicated by his recent "burqa" remarks.
The Congress leader was in the city on his way back from the pilgrim town of Pandharpur where he had gone to worship Lord Vittal.
Accusing Modi of trying to create divide between Hindus and Muslims on every issue, Singh said, "he could have used the words 'chaddar' of secularism instead of burqa, which has a religious connotation".
He was referring to Modi's speech here on Sunday, in which he had accused the Congress of "hiding behind the burqa of secularism" to divert attention from its failures on all fronts.
Talking to reporters here, Singh said that even in his election campaigns in Gujarat, Modi had resorted to the politics of religious hatred after initially talking about developmental issues.
Stating that the Congress' definition of secularism was "Sarvadharmasamabhav" or respect for all religions, Singh said that all communal riots had been sparked by communal ideologies among Hindus and Muslims.
"The Congress has always fought against such ideology," he said.
Replying to a question, he said that the Congress had not fought elections jointly with the MIM in Kerala which had extended its support to it on the basis of secularism.
Referring to the Bodh Gaya blasts, he said that he had only posed a question as to how it happened immediately after Modi's speech of "teaching a lesson" to the Nitish Kumar government, without pointing a finger at anyone.
The Congress leader alleged that RSS-linked elements had been arrested in connection with terror attacks in Malegaon, Ajmer Dargah, Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad and Samjhauta Express, but replied in the negative when asked whether the organisation should be banned.
"Banning the RSS will not help. A ban on the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) did not help in Pakistan. The answer is to fight the ideology," Digvijaya said.
However, he made it clear that he was not specifically comparing RSS with the LeT, adding that he merely mentioned two "communal organisations".
Singh said that it was difficult to draft a uniform civil code until a consensus is reached on the issue.
He said the Congress promotes "trust and harmony" among all without any tilt towards any community.
When asked if it would be a contest between Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi, he said it was not between personalities, adding that "it is an ideological fight".
Singh described as "false", Modi's recent comment that Maharashtra was deprived of electricity supply from the Sardar Sarovar Project because of lack of initiative in raising the height of the Narmada dam.
He said power shortage in Maharashtra was not due to the project factor and the advantage of power generation from it was maximum in Madhya Pradesh.
Singh said that the UPA government had resorted to issuing an ordinance on food security out of compulsion, as no business was possible in parliament, adding that it will be tabled during the monsoon session, to be passed after a debate.
On the Telangana issue, he said the consultation process was over and a decision would soon be taken by the UPA government.