Congress seeks probe into saffron links to terror

Congress seeks probe into saffron links to terror

New Delhi: In a frontal attack on the RSS and its affiliates, the Congress Plenary on Sunday raised the pitch against saffron forces by demanding a probe into their “links" with terror after Sonia Gandhi condemned both majority and minority communalism.

While terror and communalism figured in a major way on the opening day of the two-day conclave, corruption that has hit the party and the UPA government headed by it was also a key topic of discussion with Gandhi suggesting fast-tracking of corruption cases including those against politicians.

In her Presidential address, Gandhi outlined a four-point action plan to battle corruption by bringing corruption cases to a closure in a defined time-frame, ensuring transparency in public procurement and Congress chief ministers and all ministers to give up discretionary powers especially in land allotment that breeds corruption.

Rahul Gandhi demanded severe punishment for those guilty of corruption as he took the floor at the Plenary being held against the backdrop of scams related to 2G spectrum allocation, CWG and Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai.

However, much against expectations he skirted any reference to communalism or terror, an issue on which he had generated a controversy a few days by suggesting that Hindu radicalism was a bigger threat than terror groups like LeT.

Sonia Gandhi’s condemnation of both majority and minority communalism as dangerous and should be defeated is seen as a damage-control exercise against the backdrop of controversy surrounding Rahul Gandhi’s comments.

The gathering of over 15,000 Congress leaders unanimously adopted a political resolution which said that “links" between terrorists and the RSS and its sister organisations have been “uncovered" in recent cases.

The role of religious fundamentalist groups challenging the security of the nation can no longer be ignored, the party said in the resolution that was discussed for over five hours on the opening day of the two-day conclave in Burari on the outskirts of the city.

Led by Sonia Gandhi, the Congress launched a strident attack on Sangh Parivar with leaders like Mukherjee referring to Pune and other blasts where right-wing groups have been suspected of having played a role.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh dragged senior BJP leader L K Advani by saying his rath yatra had sown the seeds of Hindu-Muslim divide and was the cause for terrorism in the country.

In her 30-minute address, Sonia Gandhi said “The Congress party makes no distinction between organisations of the majority and of the minority communities who indulge in communalism and related acts of terrorism. They are all dangerous, they must all be defeated."

Maintaining that Congress has always fought against all forms of communalism, regardless of their source, Gandhi said, “communalism is the abuse of religion for narrow political purposes. It is the abuse of religion and to spread hatred and bigotry. It is the abuse of religion to polarise our society and to divide us."

In an apparent attack on saffron forces, she said the country cannot ignore the pernicious impact of individuals, institutions and ideologies that distort history and thrive on spreading religious prejudice and inciting people to violence using religion as a cover.