BHOPAL: RSS has been imparting training in making weapons, bombs, atom bomb, grenade and triggering blasts, said newly appointed Madhya Pradesh minister for cooperatives and parliamentary affairs Dr Govind Singh on Saturday, sparking a political controversy in the central Indian state.
"Ye jo Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh hai, voh hathiyar banane ki, bomb banane ki, atom bomb banane ki, hathgole banane ki aur visphot karne ki training deti rahi hai (the RSS has been imparting training in making weapons, bombs, atom bomb, grenade and triggering blasts)," said Singh, the senior minister who is the seven-time Congress legislator from Lahar seat of Bhind district.
However, when queried by journalists again in Bhopal later in the day, Singh tried to play down the matter, saying he had made the statements with respect to BJP's hue and cry about law and order situation in the state, including the murder of BJP leader in Mandsaur. "Both, the man murdered in Mandsaur and the accused belonged to the same organization."
Singh is considered close to ex-MP CM Digvijaya Singh, who also in the past has often alleged links of RSS affiliated individuals with terror activities.
The senior MP cabinet minister further told journalists in Bhopal that "till now as the BJP was in power in the state for 15 years, all these matters were under the carpet. The BJP government in the past and RSS have been fostering the criminal elements. Still the BJP people are creating utpaat (creating trouble)."
He further referred to the case of 2008 Malegaon blast accused Pragya Thakur (charge-sheeted in the 2008 blast case) to draw home his point of RSS people being involved in destructive activities.
"Let the BJP people do dharna pradarshan (demonstration), the state government is not going to bend under their pressure tactics. We're going to unearth all their hidden deeds and make them public, which will see them behind bars in the days to come," said Singh.
Importantly, the opposition BJP has been staging protest demonstrations across the state, alleging deterioration of law and order situation since the Kamal Nath led Congress government assumed power in MP, particularly in the wake of two high-profile killings on Wednesday and Thursday, among them the killing of Mandsaur Nagar Palika chairman and BJP leader Prahlad Bandhwar by his close aide and alleged fellow party worker Manish Bairagi.
Importantly, the accused Manish Bairagi and a close aide Ajay Jat were arrested from Pratapgarh district of Rajasthan on Saturday.
Reacting to the senior cabinet minister Dr Govind Singh's controversial statements, senior BJP leader Dr Hitesh Bajpai condemned the statements. "It seems that Dr Govind Singh, even after becoming a minister has nothing left to do, except making such baseless allegations. After taking the oath of office and secrecy as state's cabinet minister, he (Singh) needs to act instead of making such baseless statements."
However, state Congress spokesperson and senior advocate JP Dhanopiya defended the senior minister's statements, saying, "The minister is a responsible man, if he has made the statements, they would definitely have some factual basis."
Importantly, ahead of assembly elections in MP, during November 2018, another senior Congress leader Sunderlal Tiwari (sitting legislator son of ex-Vidhan Sabha Speaker late Sriniwas Tiwari) had termed the RSS as "symbol of terrorism." Tiwari was among the clutch of senior Congress leaders who lost the assembly polls subsequently in Vindhyan region of MP.