Bhopal: Senior Congress MLA Sundarlal Tiwari on Tuesday stoked a controversy by saying the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) exhibited all the symbols of a terror outfit, prompting criticism from the BJP, which accused the grand old party of siding with Islamic terror groups.
Tiwari, who was asked about the plans of the Congress to ban entry of government staffers into RSS shakhas, said: “RSS is purely a political outfit. Political outfits are good but this organisation got [Mahatma] Gandhi killed. It’s an organisation that foments hatred in the state and the entire country.”
The son of former assembly speaker Sriniwas Tiwari claimed that the tricolour was never seen in the shakhas organised by the Sangh and the organisation incited social hatred and enmity on the basis of religion.
The Rewa MLA’s remarks came a day after MPCC president Kamal Nath tried to play down the issue, saying the party only intended to ban government staffers from RSS shakhas and the organisation was free to hold as many shakhas as it wanted.
Reacting to Tiwari’s remarks, BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal accused the Congress of siding with Islamic terror groups. “Even during Digvijaya Singh’s tenure, the Congress did not ban the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Singh in fact said he would ban SIMI only after banning Bajrang Dal (youth wing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad),” he said.
Congress Ideation Cell chairman Bhupendra Gupta tried to steer clear of the controversy, saying the party’s stand had been clarified by the MPCC chief. On Tiwari’s remarks, Gupta said a clarification would be sought from him.
The BJP and Congress have been engaged in a bitter war-of-words ever since the Congress, in its manifesto released on Sunday, proposed a ban on participation of government staff in RSS shakhas and intended to bar the RSS from running any activity from government buildings.