Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday strongly condemned former RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan's diatribe in Bhopal the previous day against the Nehru family and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Only an “unstable mind” could possibly make such “irresponsible and highly provocative” comments about a family which was part of the country's freedom movement and a leader of the credibility and stature of Mrs. Gandhi, he said.

“It is very unfortunate. I condemn it with all my might. No sensible person would believe or lend an ear to such nonsense,” Mr. Gehlot said talking to media persons here. The Nehru family carried its credibility with the people of the country. From the days of the late Motilal Nehru and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who fought for freedom under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the family remained firm on its commitment to this country and its people,” Mr. Gehlot asserted.

The Chief Minister said the people who were behind the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi were now talking. There was a ban on RSS following the assassination of the Mahatma. “Nowadays the BJP conveniently displays a picture of the Mahatma at its conventions. However, they remove it also whenever it does not suit them,” he said. “Those who speak such language were also responsible for the bloodshed in the country in the wake of the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid controversy.”

“India has got such a big Hindu community. Anyone can say anything but that does not mean that there is no limit to plain character assassination,” said Mr. Gehlot, who of late has become the target of the Sangh Parviar after the names of RSS functionaries cropping up in the charge-sheet filed in Ajmer Dargah bomb blast case. “Mr. Sudarshan had reacted first after the Anti-Terror Squad filed the charge-sheet. Now I wonder what could be the reason behind the revised version of his utterances. It is for his (Mr. Sudarshan's) conscience to answer this,” he said.

Mr. Gehlot wondered what would be the message RSS wants to communicate to the country with this kind of observations from one of its senior leaders. “But for now this statement needs severest condemnation from all sensible people,” he said.

“As for Ms. Gandhi, she has already proved her credentials as a selfless leader who could even sacrifice big positions. The people of the country and the Congress workers consider her as their leader. The party follows her leadership. The United Progressive Alliance's performance has also reiterated her leadership and statesman like qualities. The country with thousands of dialects, many languages and different faiths has always acknowledged role of the Nehru family's contribution and bestowed its faith on it. The family has retained its credibility throughout with the people,” Mr. Gehlot said.

He said whenever the Congress got weak in the past anywhere in country the progress of that area was affected. “That is because there is no alternative to the Congress and the other parties are too weak to make any impact,” he said.