A day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's remarks against radicalized Hindu groups hit the headlines, BJP on Saturday demanded a statement from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the utterances by the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
BJP general secretary Vinay Katiyar alleged Rahul Gandhi's remarks "betrayed his lack of knowledge of Indian culture."
"Hindus cannot be terrorists. They have always practiced tolerance and harmony", he said.
Alleging Congress was responsible for rise of terrorism in Kashmir as also of the activities of Maoists and ULFA, Katiyar said, "Rahul should know that during Rajiv Gandhi's prime ministership, there were LTTE training camps at eight places in India."
"I ask Rahul Gandhi, his mother (Sonia Gandhi) and Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) why were 7,000 Sikhs killed in 1984? Congress is a terrorist party and has no right to be in politics. It should be banned," Katiyar told a press conference in Kolkata.
A Wikileaks cable released on Friday claimed Gandhi had told US ambassador Timothy Roemer that radical Hindu groups could pose a 'bigger threat' to India than terror group LeT.
Katiyar demanded a statement from the Prime Minister on Rahul Gandhi's remarks.
Strongly condemning the remarks by Rahul, Katiyar charged "it will give a leverage to the LeT and the ISI. It is intended to save Afzal Guru (from capital punishment) and to have Ajmal Kasab released (from jail)."
Asked about Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh's reported statement that the BJP should dissociate itself from RSS, Katiyar retorted "I suggest that (Singh) dissociate himself from the Gandhi family."
Alleging that in February 2009, Singh had spent over three hours with two terrorists involved in the 2008 Delhi blasts at Sanjarpur village in UP's Azamgarh district, Katiyar demanded Singh be arrested and interrogated about it.
On Singh's statement that senior BJP leaders L K Advani and Rajnath Singh had met the Prime Minister after the arrest of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur after 2008 Malegaon blast, Katiyar said "we are not asking the government not to take steps against terrorists but we are against personal political vendetta in the name of curbing terrorism."
Describing the 2G spectrum scam as bigger than the Bofors scam, Katiyar said BJP would not backtrack from its demand for a JPC probe into it.
Asked about reports that Congress was planning to go for mid-term polls next year if the opposition continued to stall the Lok Sabha during the budget session, Katiyar said, "we are ready to go to the people if the elections are held. The issues will be corruption and price rise."
Pointing out that former telecom minister A Raja had gone on record as having said that the Prime Minister was aware of the decisions taken by him in allocating 2G spectrum, Katiyar said, "the Prime Minister cannot now dissociate himself from the issue."