- Rahul Gandhi spoke of his critique of the RSS at length
- He addressed the Indian community in Germany on Friday
- The BJP, in its response, called the Congress chief "immature"
Rahul Gandhi's comparison of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to the Muslim brotherhood on Friday provoked an acrimonious rejoinder from a furious BJP, which demanded an immediate apology.
"The RSS is trying to change the nature of India. There is no other organisation in India that wants to capture India's institutions... What we are dealing with is a completely new idea. It's an old idea being reborn. It is similar to the idea that exists in the Arab world of the Muslim Brotherhood. The idea is that one ideology should run through every institution and one idea should crush all other ideas," the Congress president had said at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London.
Cue a trenchant reply from the BJP's spokesperson Sambit Patra: "Do you even know what the Muslim brotherhood is? It is declared a terrorist organisation in a number of countries. You are comparing it with the RSS and BJP."
The Congress president, dwelling at length on his critique of the RSS - the BJP's ideological mentor - also told a gathering of the Indian diaspora in Germany that while his party binds the people of India, the BJP-RSS divides them and spreads hatred.
"The BJP-RSS people are dividing our own people. They are spreading hatred in our own country. Our job is to bring the people together and take the country forward and we have shown how to do it," he said.
"We want India to go forward and you will never hear of any Indian spreading hatred or anger anywhere. This is our culture, this is your culture," added the 47-year-old.
The BJP spokesperson's takedown of these statements was brutal.
"Rahul, you have no maturity, no understanding of India. You have no leadership quality. You have no facet. All that you have is hatred towards PM Modi. You hate PM Modi, BJP and RSS. And out of this hatred, you make irresponsible, immature statements. Have you heard yourself ever," railed the ruling party spokesperson, demanding that the Congress chief "apologise from London".