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Bhagwat should apologise; PM must clarify stand: Cong

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Demanding an apology from chief Bhagwat, the today accused him of "insulting" the and asked to clarify whether he approved the idea of a "private militia" guarding India's frontiers.

charged Bhagwat with "disrespecting" the and those who laid down their lives for the country, saying his remarks insulted every Indian.

"The 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 #ApologiseRSS," he tweeted.

Though the today said Bhagwat's remarks had been "misinterpreted", senior spokesperson called the chief's comments "sad and disturbing" and held that nations which had allowed "private militias" and military outfits independent of the country's armed forces had come to grief.

He cited the examples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and the Congo, and said could not allow such a development.

"The must clarify his stand on private militias," he said.

Sharma added that the RSS chief's statement insulted the Indian armed forces "by claiming that in the eventuality of a battle to be fought, the RSS can mobilise itself in three days while the will take six to seven months".

He said such sentiments weakened the morale of the Army.

"The should apologise to the country and the armed forces as he has put a question mark on the capability and bravery of the Indian Army," Sharma said.

The Congress's onslaught came despite the RSS holding that Bhagwat's remarks had been misinterpreted.

The RSS quoted him as saying, "If the situation arises and the Constitution permits, would take six months to prepare society whereas Sangh swayamsevaks can be trained in three days, as swayamsevaks practise discipline regularly".

Sharma urged to clarify his stand on the remarks.

"The will have to clarify his position on this, on whether he is thinking of allowing the work of national security to be handed over to the RSS instead of the Indian Army," he said.

Sharma added that the Congress and its workers were opposing such beliefs across the country.

"We expect this mistake to be rectified as it is not in national interest and we take this very seriously as the entire country is disturbed," he said.

"We as a democracy cannot allow any organisation and institution to be given any space when it comes to national defence," Sharma said.

It was "sad, disturbing and shocking" that the RSS chief's comments came when the Army was grappling with a serious terror attack, he added.

"It disrespects the Constitutional framework. It is an insult to the tricolour," he said.

Congress Communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said the RSS had insulted the valour of the Army and all Indians rejected their "DNA of division".

"Let all Indians remember - they vilified Gandhi, they slandered Nehru, they slammed Patel, they attacked Ambedkar," he tweeted.

The RSS did not allow women into their shakhas, he said.

"They didnt fly the tricolour for 52 years... Now, Sangh insults Armys valour. We Indians reject your DNA of division," he said.

RSS had said Bhagwat's speech in Muzaffarpur in had been "misrepresented".

"Bhagwat ji had said that if the situation arises and the Constitution permits, would take 6 months to prepare society whereas Sangh swayamsevaks can be trained in 3 days, as swayamsevaks practise discipline regularly," he said.

"This was (in) no way a comparison between the Indian army and the Sangh swayamsevaks but it was a comparison between general society and swayamsevaks," he said in a statement.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 20:40 IST