Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was as fanatical as the banned Student's Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), accused in several terror incidents in the country.
He made the comparison at a press conference here and said, "Nothing is going to change that."
He said the Youth Congress would maintain equal distance from both SIMI and RSS.
RSS leader Ram Madhav reacted by saying, "People who make such statements should first understand India and its society."
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also contradicted Gandhi, saying the RSS was "promoting education and nation building".
Congress leader and former MP chief minister Digvijay Singh defended Gandhi.
"Mr Rahul Gandhi is absolutely right about the RSS. Ram Madhav should know about the Congress' history," he said.
"I am not asking for a ban on the RSS, but it is time it did some introspection. Can they (the RSS) deny that their activists have been accused in several blasts?" he added.
Earlier, BJP spokesman Prakash Javdekar alleged that the Congress' failures in Madhya Pradesh might have made a "dejected" Gandhi lash out at the RSS.