New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said he did not compare the RSS with Islamic State (IS).
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress leader read out from his speech that he delivered at a Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind function: “Hum aise ISIS wali jaisi sangathane, hum unka bhi utna hi virodh karte hai jitna RSS ka karte hain (we also oppose these organisations like the ISIS as much as we oppose RSS).”
Azad’s clarification was sought by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
“There is no comparison… If I would have said they are one, that is comparison,” said Azad, challenging ruling party to move a privilege motion against him. “You can move privilege (motion),” he said.
Quoting from his speech further, Azad said: “Lihaza ye mazhab ki ladayi nahi hai. Hamare beech bhi, Islam me, duniya me koi galat kaam karta hai wo RSS se kam nahi hai. (Therefore this is not a religious fight. Amidst us, in Islam, in the world anyone who does something wrong is is no less bad than RSS).”
Ghulam Nabi Azad also presented a CD containing his speech on to the house.
Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley then said Azad might have “slipped” this time in his comments.
“I have always respected Azad. I think he must once think… knowingly or unkowingly he slipped this time,” Jaitley said as the leader of opposition finished his clarification.
“What is ISIS everyone knows in the whole world, the biggest threat to world peace it is ISIS… By comparing it, saying it is like any other organisation, knowingly or unknowingly you have given respect to ISIS you should have avoided it,” Jaitley said.
Azad’s comments had drawn criticism from several quarters.
The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh said it showed the “ideological bankruptcy of Congress”.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had demanded Congress president Sonia Gandhi to tender an apology and take action against Azad.