In a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi over the JNU row, BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday said he had "proved" that national interest had no place in his mind and asked if the Congress vice president had joined hands with separatist forces and wanted another division of India.
Speaking on the raging controversy for the first time, Shah asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul a host of questions and demanded that he apologise for his stand on the JNU issue, saying support to anti-national forces in the name of the Left's progressive ideology is not acceptable.
The BJP president's tough stand indicates that the party is willing to slug it out with Congress and other opposition parties over an issue it believes will help reaffirm its nationalist credentials and put the opposition in a corner.
"An attempt was made to defame a leading university in the national capital by turning it into a centre which encourages terrorism and separatism. I want to ask Rahul Gandhi if it would be in national interest had the central government kept quiet?
"Are you not encouraging traitors by protesting in support of these anti-nationals?", Shah wrote in a blog.
Noting that slogans like 'Pakistan zindabad', 'go India go back' and those in support of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, Kashmir's independence and India's destruction were raised in JNU, he wondered if the Congress leader had joined hands with separatists.
"Does he want another division of India by giving a free run to separatists in the name of freedom of expression? The kind of statements the Congress vice president and other leaders of his party have made in JNU have proved again that national interest has no place in their mind," Shah said.
He said Congress was in despair and frustrated over the success of the Modi government and its leaders were unable to decide how they can play the role of a responsible opposition.
He claimed that Modi government has succeeded in "controlling anti-national sentiments" even in Kashmir but Congress was fuelling the "shameful incident" in JNU despite being the main opposition party.
"I seek answers from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi to my questions on behalf of 125 crore countrymen and also demand that Rahul Gandhi apologise to the country for his action," he said.