Rahul Gandhi says RSS is 'fanatical' like SIMI

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi took a direct shot at the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) by calling it a fanatical organisation like the banned Students Islamic Movement (SIMI). Mr Gandhi, addressing the media in Bhopal, said he felt there was not much difference between SIMI and RSS, as both were "fanatical" and held "fundamentalist" views. On told that he had made a controversial statement equating the two groups, Mr Gandhi said he failed to see any controversy in it. When pointed out that SIMI was a proscribed outfit, which was not the case with RSS, Mr Gandhi said that this did not matter much as far as he was concerned. "I know only that both SIMI and RSS are fanatical and hold fundamentalist views," he asserted.
The AICC general secretary's remarks invited angry reactions from RSS and BJP, with the former advising Mr Gandhi that "knowledge of organisations functioning within the country was as essential as understanding of Italy and Columbia." BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar went a step further, and contended that "only mentally disabled people can compare SIMI with RSS. SIMI is a terrorist outfit." Gandhi was full of praise for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is "doing a fine job". "We have a very capable Prime Minister. He is much more capable than me. He is on the job. My responsibilities are Youth Congress and NSUI and I am doing that." Asked whether a youth will become the next PM, Gandhi refused to speculate but left everyone guessing, saying "What can be told about the future. Who can tell it".