After causing a sensation with his comments comparing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to the Nazis, HD Kumaraswamy today tweaked his words and raised a fresh allegation. The former Chief Minister of Karnataka alleged that he had been "threatened" by people who had come to him for Ram temple donations.
Mr Kumaraswamy, alleging lack of transparency and accountability in the temple donation drive, said: "I am also a victim".
He said a group had visited him 15 days ago to seek donations. "Three persons came to my house. They threatened...please hand over money. They asked, 'why are you not donating?' Who is she to ask," said the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) leader.
Mr Kumaraswamy was asked to clarify on his comment on houses being marked to indicate those who donated for a Ram temple and those who didn't. In a series of tweets, he said this was similar to what the Nazis did and that the RSS was born in India around the time the Nazi party was founded in Germany.
"In name of Ram, unauthorised persons are collecting money. Who has authorized them? Who is going to account for it? Who are giving a donation and who are not giving? Some marking issue is going on, why this is going on? For what purpose?" - Mr Kumaraswamy said.
Asked to elaborate on the "marking issue" - yesterday he had tweeted that "those collecting donations for the construction of Ram Mandir have been separately marking the houses of those who paid money and those who did not" - Mr Kumaraswamy had a curious response.
"They are showing a sticker. Why are they putting that sticker on the houses? They can print a big sticker on the street or wall. Why put them on houses?"
He went on: "Several historians have mentioned Nazis and RSS activities. I was not born then, I don't know anything. I know what RSS has done. They are not the saviors of this country. They are misusing Ram's name for political benefits. We are not misusing God's name."
The RSS is the ideological mentor of the BJP. Mr Kumaraswamy's comments appearing to compare the RSS with the Nazis have drawn interest at a time his party's collaboration with the BJP has sparked alliance speculation.
The RSS dismissed Mr Kumaraswamy's comments yesterday. "Kumaraswamy's comments do not qualify for any response," said RSS media in-charge ES Pradeep.