Top leaders of the Congress on Saturday attacked the ruling BJP and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayemsevak Sangh, accusing them of “spreading hatred” and comparing their ideology to that of the Islamic State.
Ghulam Nabi Azad said his party would fight the Islamic State (IS) just as it would the RSS, setting off sharp reactions from the saffron organisation.
“So, we oppose organisations like IS the way we oppose RSS. If those among us, in Islam, too do wrong things, they are no way less than RSS,” Azad said at a conference of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, one of the largest Muslim organisations in the country.
Both the RSS and BJP slammed Azad, saying they would sue him.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not attend the conference but sent a letter, which was read out by Azad. “As you know, the country is passing through a critical phase. Powers that be are spreading hatred... Especially, secularism is being targeted. It is a matter of concern. In such a situation, it is important to bring together people forgetting their religion, caste, colour and race,” she wrote.
“The comparison between the RSS and IS shows the intellectual bankruptcy (of Congress),” RSS leader J Nandkumar said at Nagaur in Rajasthan, where the organisation is holding a meeting. He said it was outrageous that Azad had compared the RSS to the Islamic State.
“Azad must apologise or Gandhi should take action against him,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said.