‘Hindu terrorism’: BJP rakes up Rahul’s 2010 remarks to up the ante

New Delhi: BJP today fired yet another salvo at Congress over the issue of ‘Hindu terrorism’ as it raked up reported comments of Rahul Gandhi in 2010 when he had said radicalised Hindu groups might be bigger threat than the local support for terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hit back at Congress after Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said Home Minister Rajnath Singh was trying to polarise society and divert attention from the government’s failures by raking up the issue of ‘Hindu terrorism’.

Azad had asserted that his party needed no lesson on terrorism from BJP and cited the sacrifice of former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, both of whom were killed by terrorists.

“Congress party has not learnt right lessons (from these sacrifices). Had it done so, its flip-flop on terrorism would not have been there,” Prasad said, citing use of terms “saffron terror” and “Hindu terrorism” by former home ministers P Chidambaram and Sushil Shinde, besides Gandhi’s reported assertions.

Prasad quoted a news report to claim that Gandhi in a 2010 conversation with the then US ambassador had said “there was evidence of some support for Laskar-e-Taiba among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community”.

The report was based on documents released by Wikileaks. Terrorism had no religion and colour and BJP never uses the term ‘Muslim terror’ but ‘jihadi terror’, Prasad said, asking Congress President Sonia Gandhi to clarify on the her son’s comments. “Does she support his comments?” Prasad asked.

What Singh has said is right and Congress should disown these comments, he said.

BJP, however, declined to comments on the controversial tweets of Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy stating that intelligence agencies should keep a tab on people who assembled for the last rites of Yakub Memon, executed in the Mumbai blasts case, as many of them could be “potential terrorists”.

“He (Roy) is holder of a constitutional post. The question should be directed to him. He is no longer a party member,” Prasad told reporters when asked about the tweets.

He also distanced BJP from comments of party leaders like Varun Gandhi and Shatrughan Sinha, the former opposing death penalty and the latter signing a petition against Memon’s hanging, saying the party does not share their views.