New Delhi, Jul 21 (PTI): A senior Congress leader today sparked a fresh row saying Gujarat riots had led to creation of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, evoking a sharp reaction from BJP which accused his party of playing the communal card for vote bank politics.
"Indian Mujahideen (IM) was formed after the Gujarat riots, says NIA in its charge sheet. Even now BJP and RSS will not desist from their communal politics?," Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed said on microblogging site Twitter.
Hitting back, BJP said the remarks were "stupid" and "reprehensible" as the Pakistan links of such outfits were well known and alleged that it was a "desperate" Congress which was actually trying to communalise the political scenario and playing with national security as it had "no answers for all the wrongs" it had done.
When contacted, the Congress General Secretary blamed the "communal politics of BJP for the chain reaction" on the issue of terror.
"This (2002 riots) was the reason behind the creation of Indian Mujahideen. If they foresake their communal politics, outfits like IM will cease to exist," Ahmed said.
BJP said it was well know that Pakistan has been aiding and abetting terror outfits that are active in India.
"There is this competition among the various Congress spokespersons and leaders to deliberately communalise the country's political scenario, because they have no answer to stinking corruption, malgovernance, price rice, unemployment, the general sense of suffering the people of India are having," Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha Ravishankar Prasad said.
He said terror outfits were active in the country before the 2002 riots also.
"Why are they playing with national security. Is it not a fact that IM has links with Pakistan-based terrorist outfits.... Is it not a fact that much before 2002, there was SIMI with designs to usher in terrorist attacks in India. These are all too well known. Please dont play with national security.
"This competitive politics for vote bank to deliberately stoke communalism is reprehensible," he said.
Prasad said there is peace in Gujarat for the last 10 years and Muslims were becoming prosperous in the state.
"The growth rate of Muslims in Gujarat is the best in the country. We all know. Yet they are playing this kind of communal politics. It's only their desperation because they have no answers whatsoever for all the wrongs they have done in India for which Indian are seeking answers. They have no answer."
BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu was also dismissive of the charge and asked Ahmed to stop arguing in favour of terrorists.
"What is this stupid argument....It has become a habit with some people. These organisations are there since the beginning.
"Pakistan is aiding, abetting , funding and training terrorists. Don't argue for IM and other such (terror) outfits. Some people say because of Bombay riots, some people say because of Gujarat (they have emerged)," Naidu said.
Ahmed, however, alleged that RSS and BJP were the main sources of communalism in the country
"So, the communal politics of BJP has led to a chain reaction. They should give up such politics," he said.
"The main source of communalism in the country is RSS and BJP, he alleged and added, "Those who want to stop communal politics should build pressure on BJP and RSS".