Congress president Rahul Gandhi today criticised RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for his reported remark that the Sangh outfit could "prepare" military personnel faster than the Army, saying it was "absolutely wrong" and he should apologise for it. "Mohan Bhagwat's remark is absolutely wrong, I'm pained hearing it," he said. "Our soldiers shed their blood, stand at the borders and work, they give their lives," Gandhi told reporters here in the midst of his four-day campaign in poll-bound Karnataka. Under flak over its chief's reported remarks, the RSS clarified that Bhagwat had not compared the Indian Army with Sangh volunteers and his remarks on the matter were "misrepresented." Gandhi said, "Mohan Bhagwatji's statement is absolutely wrong, he has to apologize. He has to say that he has committed a mistake." "Soldiers, whether they are from paramilitary force or army or air force or navy or whoever works for the security of this country, he has said this against them.
What he has saidis absolutely wrong and he has to apologise," Gandhi added. Earlier, Gandhi accused Bhagwat of "disrespecting" the Army and those who have laid down their lives for the country and said his speech was an "insult" to every Indian. "The RSS chief's speech is an insult to every Indian, because it disrespects those who have died for our nation." "It is an insult to our flag because it insults every soldier who ever saluted it. Shame on you Mr Bhagwat, for disrespecting our martyrs and our Army. #ApologiseRSS," he tweeted. Addressing an RSS workers meet in Bihar yesterday, Bhagwat reportedly said, "Sangh will prepare military personnel within three days which the Army would do in 6-7 months. This is our capability." "Swayamsewak will be ready to take on the front if the country faces such a situation and Constitution permits (to do so)." Bhagwat's remarks were made as a comparison between common people and Sangh volunteers (swayamsevaks) and were in "no way a comparison" with the Indian Army, RSS Akhil Bhartiya Prachaar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya said in a statement, seeking to douse the controversy.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)