A day after he told the Supreme Court that he had never accused the RSS as an institution of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination and had blamed persons associated with the Sangh for the killing, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday that he stood by his statement made at an election rally. He vowed to continue fighting the “hateful and divisive agenda” of the RSS.
“I will never stop fighting the hateful & divisive agenda of the RSS. I stand by every single word I said,” Rahul tweeted in an attempt to counter reports that he had taken a U-turn.
The BJP was quick to attack him. Referring to past cases of rape and murder allegedly involving Congress leaders, the party asked whether Rahul can be linked to those heinous crimes. The Congress, on the other hand, continued to argue that Rahul had not changed his position in the apex court to save himself from the legal trouble.
Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said “whatever Rahul has said in his Bhiwandi speech is absolutely correct.”
“Nathuram Godse, who killed Mahatma Gandhi, was associated with the RSS. Rahul Gandhi has rightly said that people associated with the RSS had killed Gandhi. They not just physically eliminated him, but sought to finish off his thought. We have submitted all the proof before the court and we hope court will deliver a correct and just verdict,” he said.
“There is no U-turn by Rahul Gandhi on RSS. He stands by what he has said. The person who killed Mahatma Gandhi was from the RSS. It is the ideology of hate and violence which killed Mahatma Gandhi,” AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh told reporters.
Attacking Rahul, BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said: “Those living in glass houses should not throw stones at others. Can Rahul Gandhi be linked to the rape and murder of Dalit woman Bhanwari Devi or killing of Naina Sahni because those accused in these two crimes were from the Congress?”
“The truth is that the RSS has only grown in strength despite attempts by the likes of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi to target it. It just shows Rahul Gandhi’s ideological bankruptcy and we do not take him seriously,” Sharma said.
BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said, “Rahul’s face-saving verbal gymnastics after a surrender in court on RSS won’t help. False bravado and bluster are no substitutes to truth.”