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Now, Congress demands BJP apology over Sundarshan's remarks

Source: PTI
Last updated on: November 12, 2010 20:30 IST
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Angry over former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief K S Sudarshan's derogatory remarks against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Congress activists on Friday staged countrywide protests by burning his effigy. The party also filed defamation case was against him.

Lashing out at the former RSS chief, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Friday demanded that the Bharatiya Janata Party should also apologise as it is connected with the organisation. "Both the RSS and the BJP are connected with each other and therefore the BJP should also tender an apology for the indecent remarks against the Congress president," Singh said.

"The BJP is a political wing of the RSS. Sudarshan's statement was highly provocative and the BJP too should apologise," he added.

Singh was also not satisfied with the RSS' apology. The RSS, which had on Thursday merely said the comments were not its views, on Friday went a step further by expressing regret over its former chief's statement.

Protests against the RSS chief continued throughout the day.Protesters outside the RSS headquarters at Jhandewala in New Delhi had to be dispersed by police by using water canons. In West Bengal, the arterial road connecting south and north Kolkata was blocked for about 20 minutes by Congress demonstrators. Effigy of Sudarshan were burnt in Esplanade area in Kolkata with Congress workers carrying placards that read 'Arrest Sudarshan' and 'Condemn Sudarshan for his filthy comments against Soniaji'.

In Patna, hundreds of party activists assembled near Patna Junction and took out a procession to the busy Dak Bungalow

roundabout where they held protests and burnt effigy. They urged the state government to register a criminal case against Sudarshan for tarnishing the image of Gandhi. A defamation case was filed in a Bhopal court against Sudarshan by local Congressman Pradeep Sharma who said the remarks against Gandhi "had deeply hurt him".

In Chennai, hundreds of Congress workers including state party chief K V Thangkabalu were taken into custody when they resorted to a road blockade. Thangkabalu later sought Sudershan's arrest and an "unqualified apology" from the RSS chief for his remarks.

In Hyderabad, Congress workers put a garland of chappals on a portrait of Sudarshan and raised slogans against him. Addressing partymen who staged a demonstration at Basheer Bagh, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah said the remarks made by Sudarshan were inhuman and should be condemned by all people.

In Puducherry, the Congress is planning a massive agitation to "slam RSS and its functionary for the intemperate comments". The Punjab unit of Congress also threatened to hold demonstrations across the state. In Dehradun, nearly a hundred Congress workers led by state president Yashpal Arya courted arrest.

Congress activists, including a large number of women, staged a demonstration in Bhubaneswar at the busy Master Canteen Square and demanded Sudarshan's arrest. The women's wing of Orissa Congress said it planned to file a criminal case against Sudarshan if he does not tender a public apology for his remark. Protests were also held in Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh, Haryana among other states.

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