New Delhi, Mar 13: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday kicked-off a massive controversy after he compared the RSS with the Islamic State (IS) while saying he equally opposes both organisations.
The Congress MP in Rajya Sabha drew an angry protest from the RSS as well as the BJP which demanded an apology.
Addressing a meeting of religious minorities and opposition parties held under the aegis of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, Azad said, "We oppose ISIS with equal might as we oppose the RSS."
Religion should not be an issue, he said adding: "Even from among us if someone does any wrong thing, then he is also no less than the RSS."
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded Congress president Sonia Gandhi to tender an apology and take action against Azad.
"These only reflect Congress frustration. They are still unable to stomach the defeat of 2014. We demand from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi that she should initiate action against Azad and tender an apology to the people of this country," BJP leader Shrikant Sharma told reporters.
Another BJP spokesman Nalin Kohli also slammed the Congress leader for his statement and said "is he (Azad) forgetting all the social services RSS do during natural calamities".
The RSS also reacted saying such remarks only show "intellectual bankruptcy" of the Congress party.
"Mr Azad comparing ISIS with RSS exhibits the intellectual bankruptcy of Congress," RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya tweeted.
He also said such remarks show the Congress' "unwillingness to deal with fundamentalist and cruel forces like ISIS".
Meanwhile, social media also slammed Azad for his remarks and tweeted in support of the RSS saying "RSS4India."
Comparing RSS And ISIS is like comparing pandavas with kauravas.Both of dem fought d battle but wid different intentions. #RSS4India— Dr Anuj Singh (@DrSinghAnuj) March 13, 2016
After every calamity RSS volunteers are always there for help,— seema choudhary (@Seems3r) March 13, 2016
Whereas Congiis are busy with some secular or communal issue !!#RSS4India
#RSS4India & India4World: RSS is ultimately for Universal Brotherhood of Mankind on Earth which is true Spirit of Hinduism since millennia.— DG Vanzara (@VanzaraDg) March 13, 2016
The RSS runs 27,000 Ekal Vidyalayas in remote tribal areas where more than 8 lakh socially deprived tribal students are enrolled #RSS4India— Joydeep Dey (@joydeepdey) March 13, 2016
(With inputs from agencies)