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BJP terms Rahul Gandhi’s comments on the RSS ‘laughable’

Union Environment Minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar gestures as he speaks during a press conference, at BJP HQ in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 3, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday termed Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s statement attacking the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as “laughable”. The party also refuted Mr. Gandhi’s claim that the Congress had at no point during the Emergency attempted to capture India’s institutional framework.

 

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, addressing a press conference in New Delhi, said that it would take Mr. Gandhi a long time to understand the RSS, the Hindutva organisation and ideological mothership of the ruling BJP.

 

Mr. Gandhi had, in a video conversation with Kaushik Basu, former chief economic advisor of India and Professor at the Cornell University, U.S., termed the Emergency imposed by former prime minister Indira Gandhi a “mistake”. He had added that the Emergency was fundamentally different from the current scenario as the Congress had at no point attempted to capture the country’s institutional framework, as the RSS was attempting to do now.

 

Mr. Javadekar, in response to Mr. Gandhi’s further charge that the RSS was comparable as a Hindutva counterpart to radical Islamists in Pakistan said that the RSS’ role was to effect good changes in people and inspire patriotism in them.

 

“Lakhs of people, including MPs and MLAs, were arrested during that time while institutions were denied any freedom. Now for him to say that they did not target institutions is laughable,” Mr. Javadekar said.

 

Responding to a question, Mr. Javadekar also rejected allegations that the income tax raids on the premises of filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and actor Taapsee Pannu were linked to their comments, which are seen at times critical of the BJP.

 

“This is too much,” he said to the question and added, “Probe agencies undertake investigations based on credible information and the matter later goes to courts as well.”

 

The Income Tax Department on Wednesday raided premises linked to the filmmakers, including Mr. Kashyap, who launched the now-dissolved production house Phantom Films; Reliance Entertainment group CEO Shibhashish Sarkar; and Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu, officials said.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 1:35:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rahul-gandhis-claim-that-congress-did-not-try-to-capture-institutions-during-emergency-laughable-javadekar/article33980219.ece

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