Amid the row over Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad drawing a parallel between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), the Centre stressed that the former’s stand indicated the grand old party’s support towards the terrorist outfit.
“This speech is exactly like the time when anti-national slogans were being chanted at the JNU and Rahul Gandhi went there to support them. This is the exact mindset, which was used to glorify terrorists. So, this statement shows the bankruptcy of secular politics,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told ANI.
"We oppose organisations like ISIS, the way we oppose RSS. If those among us in Islam too do wrong things, they are no way less than RSS
- Ghulam Nabi Azad
Asserting that the Congress siding with terrorists was not something extraordinary, he added that the grand old party in the past had moped about the killing of Osama bin Laden, glorified Afzal Guru and defended terrorists like Ishrat Jahan.
“In no way is his statement an objection against RSS. As a matter of fact, in the name of slamming RSS, they are backing ISIS,” Naqvi said.
Congress defends Azad
Meanwhile, Congress leader Digvijay Singh came out in full support of Azad, saying the RSS and ISIS are the two faces of the same coin.
“I totally endorse and support Ghulam Nabi Azad when he condemned ISIS as strongly as he condemned RSS. They are two faces of the same coin,” Singh tweeted.
However, Congress leader Manish Tewari attempted to downplay Azad's controversial comparison saying the RSS was a problem on the domestic level whereas the ISIS represents the single biggest existential threat to mankind.
"Well the ISIS or the IS or the Daesh as it is called represents the single biggest existential threat to mankind. If there is something, which is existential challenge to civilizations as we know it, it is the ISIS and its ideology," Tewari told ANI here.
"The RSS is a problem, but it is a domestic problem and these guys are rarely ticking around in the basement," he added.
Azad had on Saturday kicked a row after he sought to draw a parallel between the RSS and ISIS, evoking sharp responses from the Hindutva outfit and the BJP, which demanded an apology from him.
"So, we oppose organisations like ISIS, the way we oppose RSS. If those among us in Islam too do wrong things, they are no way less than RSS," the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said at an event organised by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind.
In response, the RSS slammed Azad saying that such a remark showed intellectual bankruptcy of the grand old party.
"Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad comparing ISIS with RSS, exhibits the intellectual bankruptcy of Congress," RSS leader J Nand Kumar said at a press conference.