Defensive Cong says Rahul meant all forms of terror

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 18 2010, 06:12am hrs
With the Opposition BJP attacking the Congress over Rahul Gandhis remarks to US ambassador Timothy Roemer that suggested radicalised Hindu groups constituted a bigger threat than the Lashkar-e-Toiba, the ruling party fumbled for words to explain.

While the immediate Congress reaction was to dismiss the revelations in a leaked US cable as a conspiracy, it made a course correction later in the day, releasing a statement from Rahul. Rahul Gandhis view is that terrorism and communalism of all types is a threat to India. We need to remain vigilant against acts of terrorism of all kinds, no matter who commits them, Congress media department chairman Janardan Dwivedi said on Rahuls behalf.

Hours earlier, Dwivedi had said: Let us verify the truth. May be there is some conspiracy behind the pattern with which all this is being done.

We will respond to it after verifying the facts. There is no reason to react in an excited manner. The issue should first be looked into and verified, said party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi, adding I am not questioning anything and I am questioning everything. These reactions were, however, retracted later as Rahul Gandhi himself attempted to clear the air.