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'Under fire' Azad issues clarification, targets 'intolerant' BJP

ANI  |  New Delhi 

Following the furore over his alleged comparison of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday issued a clarification, saying that he never compared the two and has always opposed them.

Azad, who is the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said that his remarks were taken out of context and lost in translation.

"This is the CD of my speech. If anything wrong is found in it, you can move a privilege motion. I request the BJP parliamentarians to go into a room to listen to this CD," said Azad, before reading out the part of his speech about the RSS that stoked a political controversy.

"For the BJP, everyone except the BJP and the RSS are terrorists. The intolerance you show outside, you are showing inside Parliament as well," he added.

Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rubbished Azad's clarification, saying the Congress leader must introspect and admit what he said.

"I think you (Azad) accidently gave respectability to ISIS in your speech which you should have avoided. You must understand what ISIS is and what it is capable off," he said in the Rajya Sabha.

Azad had on Saturday kicked a row after he allegedly sought to draw a parallel between the RSS and ISIS, evoking sharp responses from the Hindutva outfit and the BJP, which demanded an apology from him.

"So, we oppose organisations like ISIS, the way we oppose RSS. If those among us in Islam too do wrong things, they are no way less than RSS," he said in the Rajya Sabha at an event organised by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind.

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First Published: Mon, March 14 2016. 12:23 IST