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Updated: October 7, 2010 09:06 IST

Rahul equates RSS with SIMI

PTI
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Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi in Madhya Pradesh on Monday.
PTI Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi in Madhya Pradesh on Monday.

Incensed over being equated with SIMI, RSS hit out at Rahul saying he needs to learn more about the country before making such "meaningless" statements.

In unusually strident remarks, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday equated the RSS with banned terror outfit, the Students Islamic Movement of Indian (SIMI), saying both preached “hardline fundamentalist ideologies”, evoking sharp reactions from the RSS and the BJP, which said the young leader seems to have lost his mental balance and has shown political immaturity by his comments.

“Both these organisations have hardline fundamentalist ideologies,” Rahul said at a press conference in Bhopal earlier on Wednesday.

When it was pointed out that the radical SIMI was a proscribed outfit, which was not the case with RSS, Rahul said that this did not matter much for him.

”...both these organisations preach fundamentalist ideologies. That’s a fact and nothing is going to change that fact,” he said. Gandhi, who is on a tour of BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, went on to drive home his point saying there can be no place in the Youth Congress for people with hardline fundamentalist ideologies.

Incensed over being equated with SIMI, RSS hit out at Rahul saying he needs to learn more about the country before making such “meaningless” statements.

“He should brush up his knowledge before making meaningless statements. He should know the difference between RSS and banned outfits and know the history of Congress party, which has been accused of fundamentalism in the last six decades,” RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said.

In a strong reaction, BJP said the young Congress leader seems to have lost his mental balance and shown his political immaturity by his comments.

“Only a sick mind can do it (compare RSS to SIMI). He seems to have lost his mental balance. RSS is an institution of nationalist thought while SIMI has been banned by their (Congress) government as it was banned by us when we were in power,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

Coming to Rahul’s defence, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh said, “It is time for RSS to do some introspection. Can they deny that Deven Gupta, involved in the Ajmer Sharif blast, is not from the RSS ?”

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