New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) Accusing the Congress of “never giving up” attempts to tarnish the image of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari Tuesday said that linking the organisation to terror incidents was “ridiculous”.
“To say that people who committed terror incidents were motivated by Sangh is ridiculous,” Gadkari said after releasing the book “Secrets of RSS: Demystifying the Sangh” at the party headquarters here. Senior party leader Arun Jaitley, who was also to attend the function, was not present.
“The Congress has never given up attempts of defaming RSS for vote-bank politics,” he said.
Without directly referring to the reported confessions of Swami Aseemanand about his involvement in terror incidents, Gadkari indicated that individual acts cannot be linked to an organisation. Swami Aseemanand, who was arrested for his involvement in Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid blast case, had worked in RSS’ Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram.
He said that persons with different temperaments work in an organisation and a person who is aggressive or militant in his student days may mellow down or continue in the same way.
Gadkari also said he had learnt of plans of extremists to kill senior RSS leaders through former Mumbai anti-terrorism squad chief Hemant Karkare.
The BJP president said that RSS was blamed for assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but the organisation was able to prove its innocence later.
“It is a nationwide patriotic organisation,” Gadkari said, adding that lakhs of students, including those from minority community, study in the RSS-run Saraswati Shishu Mandirs.
He said RSS was doing social welfare work in different parts of the country.
“It has not imposed anything on me in the past one year,” Gadkari said, referring to his completing a year as the party president.
Gadkari said the RSS has faced a problem of “image versus reality” and people have been taken in by the propaganda of those who see the organisation in a negative light. “However, it has not impacted the Sangh’s work,” he said.
Referring to the work of RSS through its different organisations, he said that the values of patriotism were the biggest capital of BJP leaders.
He hoped that the book will be able to provide information about the RSS in an easy manner.
The book has been written by Ratan Sharda, a RSS member since childhood and a founder member of Centre for International Studies in Mumbai.