War of words continued between Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta and Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh over the role of the previous government in encouraging activities of Students Islamic Movement of India in the state, when he was the chief minister.
Both leaders began trading charges on the issue after Gupta told reporters at Indore recently that Singh patronised SIMI in the state during his tenure.
"Digvijay government had encouraged SIMI, and hence the activities of this banned organisation flourished in those days," the minister said.
He also claimed that the ruling BJP government had worked hard to wipe out this banned outfit from MP.
Strongly refuting Gupta's charges, Singh said, "as Madhya Pradesh chief minister, I was the first person to seek a ban on SIMI and hence there was no question of my encouraging it."
Singh also said that he had sought a ban both on SIMI and the Bajrang Dal but since at that time, Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance was in power at the Centre, it initiated action against SIMI but not Bajrang Dal.
The Congress leader said he has always held the view that fundamentalists of both communities worked to help each other.
"If there was no fanatic Hindu, Muslims would not have anyone to criticise.. and if there were no fanatic Muslim, Hindus would not find anyone whom they can attack," he said.
Singh, who headed the Congress rule from 1993-2003, alleged that the present Madhya Pradesh government was sleeping over alleged terrorist activities in the state.
"And this is evident from the fact that NIA had on Saturday arrested a person in connection with the Samjhauta Express blasts from Nagda town in the state. Had the Madhya Pradesh Police been active, there would have been no need for NIA to come here and make arrests," he claimed.