Following the acquittal of the five accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, the Congress was quick to defend Rahul Gandhi. The party came out in his defence and said that he had never used the term Hindu terror.
Congress spokesperson P L Punia said terrorism is a criminal mentality and it cannot be linked to any religion or community. "Rahul Gandhi or the Congress party has never used the words 'saffron terror'," he told reporters when asked about the BJP's allegations.
"It is mere rubbish. There is nothing called saffron terror. It is our clear belief that terror cannot be linked to any religion or any community or caste. It is a criminal mentality which leads to criminal activity and it cannot be linked to any religion or community," he told reporters.
Is the Congress telling the truth? In this context, one must revisit a 2010 incident which was exposed in a Wikileaks cable. In 2010, two years after the (26/11) Mumbai terror attack, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on India tour. At the lunch organised by then prime minister Manmohan Singh, US Ambassador Timothy Roemer was sitting next to Rahul Gandhi and asked the Congress leader what he thinks about the LeT."
In his response, Rahul told Roemer that forget LeT, it is the Hindu terror of this country which is a bigger threat. The US envoy Roemer sent this conversation as a cable to his country. Later, that cable was leaked and published by London-based The Guardian newspaper.
The US envoy even wrote that the Congress General Secretary (Rahul Gandhi) was referring to the tensions created by some of the more polarising figures in the BJP such as Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.