Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi's recent comment equating the RSS with the proscribed SIMI, the Samajwadi Party on Tuesday questioned why the Congress-led government at the Centre had chosen to ban one but allowed the other to operate freely.
The party also came down heavily on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for his controversial statement last week on the Kashmir crisis saying he was "immature" like Rahul and "such utterances will provide ammunition to separatist elements".
"Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi feels that both RSS and SIMI are equally fanatic and fundamentalist organisations. Now he owes an answer to the nation - why has his party, which is ruling the country, chosen to ban SIMI while allowing the RSS to operate freely," SP national general secretary Mohan Singh told reporters here.
He also said "if RSS is deemed fit to operate freely, notwithstanding its fanatic and fundamentalist character, why not apply the same yardstick for SIMI and remove the ban that has been imposed on the organisation".
He also rubbished statements made by some Congress leaders that an organisation can be banned only on recommendation from state governments.
"There is a tribunal, functioning under the supervision of Union Home Ministry, which decides whether an outfit deserves to be banned. The tribunal can take a decision on its own if it is of the firm view that a particular organisation is causing real threat to the country's national security.
"The Congress is making such excuses to save itself from the embarrassment caused by its prominent, but immature, leader," Singh added.
The Rajya Sabha MP, who was part of an all-party delegation that had recently visited Jammu and Kashmir, also sharply criticised the state's Chief Minister for "making a childish statement at a time when separatists are trying hard to revive themselves.
"Such utterances are unbecoming of a Chief Minister as they will provide ammunition to separatist elements.
"We will raise the issue in the next session of Parliament," he said.
"Omar Abdullah and Rahul Gandhi have striking similarities. Both are young and both are immature. It is not surprising that the J-K Chief Minister enjoys full support of the Congress general secretary", the Samajwadi Party leader said.