New Delhi: The Bhartiya Janta Party on Friday slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after Wikileaks cables revealed that he told the US Ambassador that Hindu extremists posed a bigger threat to India than the Lashkar.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay lashed out at Rahul saying that he was dividing the country on communal lines.
"I think Rahul is dividing India on communal lines. He thinks if he speaks against Hindus, Muslims will vote for him in Uttar Pradesh. This is most unfortunate for the country's future," he said.
A livid BJP also said that the Gandhi scion is helping Pakistan's cause.
"He and Digvijay singh have been speaking the language of Pakistan. What he's doing is making Pakistan happier. Rahul is trying to help Kasab to get votes in Uttar Pradesh and this should be properly replied. This is a strategy congress has been using since pre-independence by dividing Hindus and Muslims, creating a phobia of Hindu organisations before the Muslims saying only the Congress can help them," said Vijay.
Cong playing vote bank politics: Venkaiah
Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu also criticised Rahul Gandhi saying Congress is playing vote bank politics.
"Congress is dividing the country on the basis religion. Congress is playing vote bank politics. Terrorism has no colour or religion. All types of terrorism should be condemned," said Naidu.
Strongly objecting to the remarks made to US ambassador Timothy Roemer, as claimed by a WikiLeaks cable, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "It is irresponsible. It is in the public domain and the US government has neither
denied nor confirmed it. Therefore, it has sanctity."
"In one stroke, Rahul Gandhi has sought to give a big leverage to the propaganda of all terror groups operating from Pakistan and certain segments of the Pakistan establishment," he said.
Prasad said such remarks impinge upon India's strategic security and fight against terrorism.
"If he sees a fringe radical Hindu group as the biggest threat in spite of so many terrorist attacks including 26/11 in which involvement of Pakistani groups is confirmed, then it only underscores how ignorant he is about India and its
problems," the BJP leader said.
The party also attacked him for making such remarks to a foreign diplomat and not before the Indian Parliament and said the opposition would take up the issue in next Parliament session and also before the people.
Prasad said the statement "underscores how little Rahul Gandhi knows about India. The PM has publicly acknowledged that Maoism and terrorist threat from across the border are the biggest challenges before India and Rahul Gandhi says
certain lunatic, marginalised Hindu radical groups are the biggest threat?"
Senior opposition leader Prakash Javadekar said the statement shows "crass communalism and jaundiced world view".
According to a secret US diplomatic cable from New Delhi released by WikiLeaks, at a luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence in July 2009, the Congress General Secretary was asked by the US ambassador about LeT's
activities in the region and immediate threat to India.
"Gandhi said there was evidence of some support for the group among certain elements in India's indigenous Muslim community," the cable notes.
"However, Gandhi warned, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community," it says.
(With PTI inputs)